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Gender auditing the constitution for Europe


The project 'Gender Auditing the Constitution for Europe' will evaluate from a gender perspective the legal implications of the present debate on the constitutional future of the European Union. While sex equality has always been an item on the agenda of the European Community, notably in the area of equal rights and treatment for women and men in employment, the work of the Constitutional Convention with its elaboration of a Constitution for Europe has highlighted the many and diverse implications of constitutional change for women in Europe.

The purpose of this research project is to 'audit' these changes for their capacity to further equality between women and men and to enhance the pursuit of gender justice within an enlarged Union; it being maintained that the task of developing a constitutionalist solution to the marginalisation of women from society is an imperative. The audit will be both technical (measuring the legal modifications proposed by the Constitution for Europe alongside the existing acquis communautaire on gender equality) and theoretical (assessing the lessons learned by the Convention process for furthering parity democracy and the representation of women in decision-making at the European level).

The objectives are
(1) to produce a balance sheet demonstrating the gains and losses of the Constitution building exercise and
(2) to make recommendations for the consolidation and future development of constitutional reform from a gender perspective.

The project is orientated around two major axes, which will audit
(1) the gender input and
(2) the gender output of the Constitution building process.

The first theme - gender input - comprises an audit of the level and effectiveness of female representation within the Constitutional Convention and beyond it. This part of the study will be framed within the wider social scientific debates on parity democracy and the desirability of constitutions alised quotas.

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Aportación de la UE
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The University of Kent at Canterbury
Reino Unido

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