Let’s be clear: women are women, and men are men

2023. 03. 30.

The European Parliament plenary session has today debated a draft directive on equal pay for men and women for equal work. In his speech, Fidesz MEP Ádám Kósa said that “the need to ensure equality between women and men in the world of work is beyond dispute, and we fully support this effort. However, we do not believe that it is right that the European Union, in pursuit of this noble objective, should seek to enshrine in law the existence of a third, neutral gender, in addition to men and women”. 

MEP Ádám Kósa pointed out that “even if we make it a law that the Earth is flat, it will not make the statement true. The European Union thinks that if it says in a directive, which every Member State is obliged to transpose into national law, that medical and biological research has now recognised that human beings are not just male or female, then it will be true”. MEP Kósa said it was outrageous that the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) was being rewritten in a directive, claiming that the 1957 text was outdated. The MEP pointed out that “amendments to the TFEU can only be made by unanimity of the Member States. It creates a very dangerous situation where, instead of amending the text, we just say that it is obsolete and that its contents must be understood differently. This is a mockery of the law”.

The MEP added that “for decades we have been working to ensure that women are paid the same as men. When we finally reach that goal, we wake up to find that the debate is no longer about equal pay, but about whether men are males and women are females. It is ridiculous and absurd. But unfortunately, in the European Union today, this issue is more important than finally giving women the same financial dignity”.

Background: MEP Kósa said in the debate that “the terminology used in Article 157(3) TFEU, originally dating from 1957, concerning ‘men and women’ was confirmed on 7 June 2016, fully in line with the scientific evidence available to date. The same terminology, namely ‘women and men’, is also enshrined in Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Therefore, in this Directive, the reference to ‘gender’ should refer only to men and women in order to ensure that secondary Union law is consistent with primary law. This is also in line with the terminology used in the Preamble and Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”