rom 6 to 9 November, a key European seminar was held in The
Hague on the protection of the dignity of women and men at work. Organized jointly by the Dutch Employment and
Social Affairs Minister and the Equal
Opportunities Unit, it marked a major initiative by the Dutch Presidency. One of the
aims of the seminar was to increase public
awareness of the Council Resolution of
May 1990 on the protection of the dignity
of women and men at work and of the
Recommendation and the Code of Good
Conduct being proposed by the European
Commission, which should be adopted in
the near future . A further aim was to encourage implementation of these initiatives by
presenting examples of good practice and
suggesting means of evaluation.
Some one hundred participants attended,
including government representatives,
national equal opportunities bodies, the
social partners and women's organizations
specializing in problems of sexual harassment. During one of the most enlightening
sessions, chaired by the Dutch Secretary of
State, Elske ter Veld, representatives of
Member States had a chance to outline
their plans for implementing the European
Commission's proposed Recommendation
and Code of Good Conduct.
Sexual harassment was also discussed in
detail at the last meeting of the Steering
Committee for Equal Opportunities in
Radio and Television, held on 14 October
1991 in Brussels. On this occasion, the
Steering Committee invited Michael
Rubenstein, the author of the 1987 study
for the European Commission on «The
Dignity of Women at Work - Report on
the Problem of Sexual Harassment in the
European Community», as well as Ligia
Amacio from Portugal, who has carried out
research into the nature and extent of
sexual harassment in the European Community.
Contact: Evelyn Collins, Equal Opportunities Unit
Dear Readers,
Nine million people
work full-time in
farming in Europe
today. 3 million of
these are women,
working on family
farms. In certain
southern European
countries, women
make up 40% of the farming population. For this
reason women are very concerned by the
development of this sector of activity.
The reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
(CAP), aimed at introducing changes into Community farming, will also affect their lives as
active participants in the farming economy, and,
more generally, in the social and economic life
of the rural world.
As Mrs Cecile Boerave, President of the Women's
Committee of COPA, stated during a seminar
organized in collaboration with the Women's Information Service at Barbotain in France, women play
an essential role in the management of Europe's
farms, the overwhelming majority of which-90%
of all Community farms-are family-run.
"Take away women's work from farms and you
will destroy most of them", Mrs Boerave
Conscious of the fundamental role of women in
farming but also of their specific needs, the Commission also made provision, when adopting
Council Directive 86/613/EEC of 11 December
1989 (on the application of the principle of equal
treatment for self-employed women, including in
farming) for the possible revision of this Directive. Article 13 of the Directive requires Member
States to provide the Commission during 1991
with "appropriate data to enable it to prepare a
report evaluating its application".
The Commission is now analyzing the replies
provided by the Member States. Based on the
situations in different Member States and the
opinions expressed by the social and professional
organizations, the Commission will decide on
whether there is a need to revise the Directive.
Any revision should be presented to the Council
of Ministers before 1 July 1993.
The opinions presently expressed will enable the
Commission to take account of the wishes of
women in the farming and rural worlds.
Vocational training of women
The Working Group on Vocational Training for Women met in Brussels on 22
October. It was informed of the recent activities of the IRIS network, which has over
300 member training programmes throughout the Community. These activities include inter-programme exchange visits,
partnership and publicity grants and seminars. Four national seminars were organized
in 1991 on the subject of «Women in new
technologies and male-dominated professions», concluding a cycle of national
seminars begun in 1989.
This year's seminars were held in Denmark
(March), Ireland (September), Germany
and the United Kingdom (October) and
highlighted the essential role of women's
training in the implementation of the
internal market. The conclusions of these
seminars also underlined the need to give
wide publicity to good practice and innovatory teaching methods tried and tested in
women's training as well as to the evaluation of programmes.
The Working Group went on to look at the
progress made by Member States in implementing the 1987 Recommendation on
Equal Opportunities in Vocational Training. An evaluation of the progress measures is currently being made by the European Commission.
Contact: Margarida Pinto, Equal Opportunities Unit

Positive action
and women's training
A practical handbook on the creation and
management of in-service positive action
programmes and training for women, based
on the experience of experts from the former «Diversification of Vocational Choices for Women» network, will soon be
available. This network of experts, created
in 1984, established and followed up positive action in the twelve Member States.
The handbook draws on their experience in
this field, presenting basic principles and
suitable procedures for implementing such
activities and outlines the steps to be taken
at both the preparatory and management
stages. As such, it can serve as a guide to
anyone wishing to introduce women's training or in-service positive action programmes in order to improve the conditions and
status of working women.
Contact: Janet Hemsley, Equal Opportunities Unit, Directorate-General for
Employment, Industrial Relations and
Social Affairs, Commission of the European Communities, 200 rue de La Loi,
B-1049 Brussels

Women of Europe Newsletter [1991], 22 (Nov) - 1/4