European Parliament Workers Launch MeToo Blog

A handbag stands next to a placard with the hashtag MeToo (#MeToo) during a debate to discuss preventive measures against sexual harassment and abuse in the EU at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Oct. 25, 2017. — EPA-EFE

The MeToo blog called for Members of the European Parliament to go through mandatory training against sexual harassment

BRUSSELS (IANS) — A group of European Parliament staff members on Tuesday launched a MeToo blog that will allow their colleagues to anonymously post accounts of sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexism at the workplace.

The creators of MeTooEP lobbied for the full application of a resolution to act against sexual harassment that was passed in October 2017 but failed to properly come into effect, Efe news reported.

“Sexual harassment has no age, no culture, no boundaries and no political colours,” said French parliamentary assistant Jeanne Ponte at a Brussels press conference. 

“This blog will be the voice of the voiceless, a safe place for workers who do not feel resigned.”

She presented a notebook, decorated in a floral design, where victims of sexual harassment can leave their personal accounts. 

“Last year in October this tiny flowery notebook became the most famous notebook in Brussels. Why? Because inside this notebook there are testimonies of victims of sexism, sexual harassment and sexual assault happening at the European Parliament.

Ponte said that the testimonies were from colleagues of different political groups, different nationalities and different cultures.

The new online platform was launched with five stories of sexual harassment and assault. 

“We refuse to get used to sexual harassment and categorically rebut the normalization of abuse of power,” the movement said on its blog.

“When one person faces sexual harassment in the European Parliament, we are all at risk. This is why we will not personalize testimonials as these are all our stories: Hers, His, Theirs, Yours and #MeToo,” it added.

The group took the sheer scale of the Parliament’s institutions, which included thousands of employees and several foreign missions, into consideration and called for the creation of an independent audit into workplace harassment.

The MeToo blog called for Members of the European Parliament to go through mandatory training against sexual harassment and for the creation of a victims’ support committee that included doctors among its members.


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