Mazey, Sonia and Shaw, Jo and Elman, R. Amy and Bell, Mark (2002) Progressive Europe? Gender and Non-discrimination in the EU. [Review Essay]
[Introduction by series editor]. THE ISSUE OF EQUAL RIGHTS between women and men—at least in the workplace—has long been one of the most prominent examples of "positive integration" in the European Union, and arguably the most far-reaching element of EU social policy. In recent years, the EU’s traditional emphasis on sex equality in the workplace has been supplemented by a commitment to the "mainstreaming" of gender issues, the upgrading of sexual equality as a common objective in the Treaties, and the insertion of a new Treaty provision relating to the principle of nondiscrimination more generally. These and other developments have led some authors to present the EU as a "progressive polity" in its commitment to gender equality and non-discrimination. In this Forum, four authors assess this claim of a "progressive Europe," focusing on the evolution of EU gender policy (Sonia Mazey, Jo Shaw, R. Amy Elman) and the development of a broader policy regarding non-discrimination on the basis of factors such as race, age, and sexual orientation (Mark Bell). Taken together, the essays reveal the impressive legal and constitutional foundations of EU gender and non-discrimination policies, as well as the significant weaknesses of EU policy practice, the problematic relationship between gender and other grounds for discrimination such as race and age, and the difficulty of measuring what constitutes "progress" in the first place.
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