The UK Joint Committee on Women
NAWO is part of the the United Kingdom Joint Committee on Women (UKJCW).
The UKJCW represents the UK at the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and aims to support women and women’s organisations to access information and to inform EWL actions.
UKJW is a coalition made up of 4 women’s organisations representing each of the 4 nations of the UK. :
- The National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO).
- Engender – Scotland’s feminist policy and advocacy organisation (Scotland).
- The Women’s Equality Network Wales (Wales).
- Northern Ireland’s Women’s European Platform (Northern Ireland).
The UK Joint Committee on Women (UKJCW) comprises of four umbrella organisations in the UK, one from each of the four nations, which co-ordinate a UK view to the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), the largest network of women’s organisations in Europe.
These sister organisations include:
- the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO);
- Engender, the network of women’s organisations in Scotland;
- the Women’s Equality Network Wales (WEN)
- Northern Ireland’s Women’s European Platform (NIWEP).
What is the UK Joint Committee on Women (UKJCW)?
The UKJCW was set up to ensure that all four nations of the UK could be represented by the UK’s seat at the European Women’s Lobby.
Roles within UKJCW rotate, so different nations take on responsibility for sitting on the EWL board, and co-ordinating UKJCW meetings. Each nation has two people sitting on the UKJCW, and decisions are usually made by consensus.
The UKJCW has a number of responsibilities including submitting motions to the European Women’s Lobby General Assembly, and supporting the motions of other countries. In the past these have included calling for the UK to take action for abortion rights in Northern Ireland, and supporting other countries’ campaigns to ratify the Istanbul Convention. The UKJCW can also nominate people to sit on EWL working groups and observatories, for example on feminist economics and violence against women.
What is the European Women’s Lobby?
The EWL is comprised of 2500 organisations which span over 31 countries in the European Union. Founded in 1990 with support from the European Commission, EWL formed in response to a growing necessity to defend and advocate for women’s interests at the European level. EWL works from a feminist perspective towards securing equal rights, peace and solidarity in Europe and globally, and seeks specifically to promote the participation of women’s organisations at the European level.
EWL mandate is to secure economic and social justice for women in their diversity, inclusive of an equal distribution of care giving roles and decision making power. EWL provides necessary information to mobilize members and facilitates communication and exchanges between citizens and decision makers, as well as between women’s organisations themselves. These networks help to mainstream gender equality, and seek to ensure that women are represented and able to influence policy development.
A key priority for EWL is the elimination of all forms of violence against women, and the Observatory of Violence Against Women is run by EWL, drawing expertise from across Europe, in order to identify critical and emerging issues to advocate for in policy development and service provision. The Observatory produces new reports and data, and strives to create awareness raising campaigns about various forms of male violence against women.
The UKJCW engage with EWL on numerous key gender equality campaigns and policy.