Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-06-01-Speech-4-018"

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"I wish to begin by congratulating Mrs Niebler on her report and Mrs Vergnaud, shadow rapporteur for my group. I welcome this Commission initiative aimed at modernising and simplifying Community law in the area of equal treatment of men and women in the labour market. Women still suffer from discrimination at work, which takes a number of different forms, such as unequal pay and difficulty of access to the labour market, and in particular to well paid, prestigious jobs. Yet the Lisbon Strategy provides for greater female participation in the labour market and more and better jobs for women. Thirdly, I should like to reiterate the proposals that I put forward in my reports on the Lisbon Strategy from a gender perspective and on demographic change. The Member States must, as a matter of urgency, adopt measures to enable women to achieve a better reconciliation between work and private life. The review of the directive on parental leave should help to combat the economic, social and cultural prejudices associated with the right to paternal leave. Member States should set up paid maternity and paternity leave when a child is born or adopted and should, of course, observe best practice as regards the duration of maternal leave, which varies between 14 and 28 weeks, the mandatory period and the amount of money provided during the leave period. Such measures will undoubtedly help to stop discrimination against women and will help women to have the children they want to have."@en1

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