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President Sassoli,
President Michel,

Honourable Members,

I am the first woman to be President of the European Commission. I am the President of the European Commission. And this is how I expected to be treated when visiting Turkey two weeks ago, like a Commission President, but I was not.

I cannot find any justification for the way I was treated in the European Treaties. So, I have to conclude, it happened because I am a woman. Would this have happened if I had worn a suit and a tie? In the pictures of previous meetings, I did not see any shortage of chairs. But then again, I did not see any woman in these pictures, either.

Honourable Members,

Many of you will have made quite similar experiences in the past. Especially the female members of this House, I am sure, know exactly how I felt. I felt hurt and left alone: As a woman and as a European. Because this is not about seating arrangements or protocol. This goes to the core of who we are. This goes to the values our Union stands for. And this shows how far we still have to go before women are treated as equals. Always, and everywhere.

by Oui on Tue Apr 27th, 2021 at 08:25:15 AM EST

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