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The European Women’s Lobby (EWL) has been actively involved in the recent discussions concerning the European Commission’s 2008 proposed Anti-discrimination Directive which seeks to extend anti-discrimination legislation beyond employment on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. Although sex-based discrimination is not included in the proposed Directive, the EWL welcomes it as an important step towards protecting women from discrimination on other grounds. The proposed Directive responds to and raises many issues, such as the shape of gender equality and anti-discrimination legislation in the EU, the concept of multiple discrimination and the role of equality bodies in protecting individuals’ rights. Within this context, the direction and content of this publication is informed by the EWL seminar, ‘Levelling up Gender Equality Legislation and Tackling Multiple Discrimination’ held in January 2009. This seminar allowed EWL members to discuss developments at the national level, both in relation to legislation and the mandate and effectiveness of (gender) equality bodies. The relationship between sex and other grounds of discrimination was explored as well as the current debates on multiple discrimination, intersectionality and women’s diversity. Given the participants’ high levels of expertise and experience in gender equality issues, the seminar provided a constructive forum for the exchange of knowledge and for developing EWL strategy. More specifically, this publication addresses key priorities of the EWL work on anti-discrimination. These are: • To ensure a uniform and strong legal framework for all grounds of discrimination at the European level. • To ensure that victims of multiple discrimination, who very often are women, are effectively protected by European and national legislation. • To include a gender perspective in anti-discrimination policies. • To have strong institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women...
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