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Equinet - European network of equality bodies

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Equinet aims to strengthen and support equality bodies and acts as the expert voice of equality bodies to advance equality for all. Facilitating the development of expert and institutional capacities for our members and conveying the knowledge and expertise of equality bodies at European and international levels are two of the ways we aim to achieve those objectives.

In our capacity building and awareness raising events, we aim to have gender equality on all panels and to choose expert speakers representing a variety of minority groups. The voices of young people are included as often as possible. We try to include an intersectional approach and a broad range of voices on all topics, not just linked to a given ground of discrimination. Speaker diversity is something we strongly believe in and commit to promoting as much as possible.

This conference, held at the EESC in Brussels on 16 June, set out to discuss the experiences of equality bodies and other stakeholders with the implementation and possible shortcomings and gaps in EU equal treatment legislation. It also aimed to find ways to make this legislation comprehensive in its scope and more effective on the ground. The specific challenge of creating the conditions for equality bodies to fulfil their potential were also discussed.

The conference was preceded by a networking event entitled ’Towards an equal Europe’ on 15 June, where the working paper on developing standards for equality bodies was launched, in the presence of Commissioner Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová.


Equinet, together with the Czech Public Defender of Rights, organised a one and a half day capacity-building seminar for equality bodies’ staff members about gender equality in education. The meeting took place in Prague on 19-20 May 2016.


On 20th April, Equinet and the Equality and Human Rights Commission co-organised a roundtable event at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was hosted by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D). It addressed the issues of work-life balance, pregnancy and parenthood related discrimination at national and EU levels. It gathered Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), representatives of national equality bodies and other stakeholders.


On 4th and 5th April 2016, Equinet and the Austrian Disability Ombudsman organised the seminar "Accessibility and reasonable accommodation" in Vienna, Austria. The seminar took stock of the experiences of equality bodies on accessibility and reasonable accommodation. It also aimed to build their capacity in understanding, promoting and ensuring reasonable accommodation and accessibility.


Equinet Events 2016

January 21st 2016

Highlights of the main Equinet activities planned to build capacity and peer support of equality bodies, as well as make a contribution to the European equality agenda, based on the 2016 Work Plan.


On 8 December 2015, the Defender of Rights hosted the Conference "Equality bodies and the new freedom of movement directive – challenge or opportunity?" in Paris (France). This conference was dedicated to the role of equality bodies in combating nationality-based discrimination in the framework of the implementation of the new Directive.


On 9 and 10 November 2015, staff of member equality bodies joined hosts Equinet and the Equality and the Human Rights Commission in London for a capacity building seminar entitlted "A question of faith. Religion and belief in the work of equality bodies".


In September 2015, the Commission for Protection against Discrimination hosted a training session on “Helping equality bodies to apply for and use EU funds” in Sofia, Bulgaria for staff members of equality bodies.


On 16-17 June 2015, Equinet hosted the conference ’Charting the Charter: Equality bodies and fundamental rights in the EU’ to facilitate exchange between equality bodies and national and European stakeholders on the role and importance of the Charter in safeguarding fundamental rights, ensuring equality and combating discrimination and it will have a particular focus on the practical use and benefits of the Charter for equality bodies.


On 1-2 July, Equinet and the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner of Estonia hosted the Equinet Seminar ‘Work-Life Balance and Pregnancy and Parenthood related Discrimination’ in Tallinn.


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