The European Parliament adopted today in Strasbourg by a large majority - 441 votes for, 205 against and 52 abstentions - the annual report on equality between men and women drawn up by Belgian socialist Marc Tarabella.
S&D MEP Marc Tarabella said after the vote:
"The day after the International Women's Day, equality is still an ongoing concern. Much still remains to be done to reduce inequality between men and women.
"It will take until 2034 to achieve equal pay and until 2038 for the employment rate of women to be comparable to men. It is high time to go beyond just words. Gender equality must be an integral part of all policies of the Union.
"This vote absolves the affront of last year's report that was rejected by the European Parliament on the issue of abortion.
"I am delighted that the meeting could correct the situation by reaffirming the right of women to control their own bodies."
The S&D Group's spokesperson for the committee on women's rights, Marie Arena added:
"We must progress towards equality, but also allow women to balance family and professional life.
"Maternity leave is currently a source of discrimination, which is not at the height of a society that claims to be developed. Adopting an ambitious directive on maternity leave would increase the employment rate of women and the birth rate in Europe. I urge the Council to take their responsibilities with regard to Europeans and to negotiate with the European Parliament."