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Gender equality is defined as the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person's sex in terms of allocating resources or benefits and accessing services ("Gender Glossary"). This key concept has played a vital role in the legislative-related undertakings of the European Union (EU) since its creation in 1957.
This paper discusses the extent of EU's facilitation of the attainment of gender equality in the Community. Based on the latest status report provided to the EU bodies, this paper specifies some of the means by which the EU can effectively address gender issues in various disciplines.
Indicative of its significance, the tenet on gender equality has been taken into account in the European Community (EC) Treaties since the formation of the European Economic Community ("Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities" 2005). This is evidenced by the following:
In the Treaty of Rome, principle of equality between men and women was already considered particularly in Article 119 TEC that called for "equal pay for equal work." However, it should be noted that the notion of gender equality was stipulated in order to primarily ensure that the common market would function properly and not directly to address related social issues. As highlighted by France, "equal pay" is a requirement for the prevention of distortions in competitiveness between member states. Nevertheless, the inclusion of gender equality in the Treaty of Rome paved the way for the Commission and the European Court of Justice to actively participate in the promotion of equality between men and women in the labour market then on. (Arribas & Carrasco 2003)
Subsequently, the Cou ...
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