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Frans Timmermans: "Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make: I'm a feminist."


Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession to make: I'm a feminist. In many parts of the world it's an old fashioned word. It's not used so much anymore.

Because we tend to think of gender progress as a straight line. Some countries are lagging behind, but everyone's moving in the right direction. In the end we'll all get there. It's a natural evolution – it's happening by itself.

Well, it's not.

Every step for women's rights, every victory on the status-quo, was hard-fought.

And progress is fragile. Because with no exception, when things take a bad turn – think war, or economic slowdown, or climate change – women and girls are often the more vulnerable, the more exposed.

Others before me have spoken volumes about the living hell that is being a woman under ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban.

But even at the very other end of the scale, I never thought that some of the things my mother's generation had fought for, things I'd grown up taking for granted – like the principle of equal pay, reproductive rights, combining family and work –… I never thought that, in my lifetime, we would still have to speak up for them. And I never thought that at my age- I am a father of two boys and two girls- that at this stage of my life, I would still have to worry about the question whether my girls would have the same opportunities as my boys; it's unacceptable!

Something about the Netherlands- I am speaking on behalf of the European Union but I can't help myself-. Still in the Netherlands men and women do not receive equal pay for the same jobs done. It is direct pay, the pensions and other things: it is unacceptable. And I don't want my daughters to have less opportunity than my sons. It's very easy, it's very simple.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The commitments that we made in Beijing twenty years ago are still valid.

I am honoured to commit on behalf of the European Union to take the push for gender equality further in our external action. We want; we need to be a leading force.

The ambitious 2020 gender framework for our external relations will guide our efforts in working with partner countries – to fight any kind of gender violence, empower women economically and socially, and give them a louder voice in public life.

As a large aid donor, the European Union is committing to systematically screen our development funding to ensure that it helps transform the lives of girls and women worldwide.

I want to single out a number of things from our efforts in Europe:

- First, our commitment to promote women's economic independence and the equal sharing of care responsibilities between women and men, through a new initiative for working parents. We are working hard to present this next year – and I want it to focus not just on mothers, but on the role of fathers too. 

- Second, our commitment to fight violence against women – through prevention, protection and prosecution. We will put the EU's full weight behind the Istanbul Convention; our member states that haven't ratified yet will do so, and if legally possible the EU itself will accede. Violence against girls and women is still a norm in too many parts of our world.

- Thirdly, we want to see more women in top positions, influencing decisions. Breaking the glass ceiling doesn't happen by itself. We are in the final stages of setting a legally-binding objective of 40% of women on listed company boards by 2020, and I hope that we can reach consensus soon.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We can break the status quo. It's a question of social justice. It's a question of morality, frankly.

I’m a very strong believer that on this more than anything else, true political leadership can make the biggest difference – for a world where men and women can lead the lives they want, rather than lives expected of them.

Thank you very much.
EuropeanCommission






Shishani ft. Armonite - "Clean Country" (studio rehearsals)

Shishani ft. Armonite - "Clean Country" (studio rehearsals)

Snippet of yesterday's rehearsal. Tonight I perform "Clean Country" together with Italian duo Armonite during UNESCO's "The Water Rooms" Official Launch! at Expo 2015 Milano! #water4peace #environment #awareness #action.

Posted by Shishani Vranckx on Monday, 21 September 2015

is it worth it, let me work it: 20 reasons we love missy elliott

It took a moment to fully appreciate Missy Elliott's utter awesomeness. Unless you were really ahead of the curve and knew her from her Sista (nee Fayze) days. The first time we saw Miss E was via a guest appearance in Gina Thompson's 1996 video The Things You Do. She rolled up with the homies in a black convertible Merc, wearing what would become her signature look; a canary yellow tracksuit and hair cut into a severe side bob, fringe over the eye. Accentuated by huge hooped earrings and an even bigger grin, she was the antithesis of her predecessors Lil Kim and Foxy Brown; Missy was, in a word, magnificent, perfect in all her imperfect glory. After Missy and Timbaland landed on Planet Hip Hop nothing was the same again.

With six platinum albums and 30 million records sold solely as a solo artist, a canon of work that includes everyone from Aaliyah to Ciara, Mel B to Mary J Blige, Elliott's impact on popular culture can't be overstated. She's one of the most feminist women in modern music; a woman who pushed the boundaries for both herself and women of all sizes, shapes and colours. As she prepares to headline Bestival this weekend, we disseminate Missy's 24 years in the game as hip hop's irreplaceable, innovator who made everything and everyone supa dupa fly….

1. Missy has written and produced some of the greatest tracks ever, including (but not limited to)...

































Not to mention everything she did with Aaliyah (RIP Baby Girl)





2. She has a Lamborghini car bed


3. When I interviewed her in Puerto Rico in 2002, Missy lost her jewellery at the airport, meaning she was two days late for promo and we got to stay in the Four Seasons for an extra two nights. I mean, have you ever stayed at the Four Seasons?

4. When she did turn up and I finally got to interview her, she ate a bowl of M&M's. She didn't offer me any, but that's ok because Missy.

5. She's not too big or too famous to be told off by her mum. When I asked her in 2003 (Puerto Rico again, alas the budget didn't stretch to the Four Seasons this time) if the track Toys was about vibrators, she laughed and said yes. "I know all the females is gonna be like 'What? Oh, we got someone speaking for us right now!'" I wondered what her mum, who Missy is very close to, might make of such raunchy raps. "She called me last album [Under Construction] and was like, 'Do you have a record called Pussy Don't Fail Me Now?!' And I was like 'Oh my God, how does she know that'? The album wasn't even out, but because she handles all my stuff they gave her the title list. I was so embarrassed, I felt like a little child. You know my mother's real religious so her second question was, 'What are the church people gonna say?' and I replied 'Well, how are they gonna know? If they ask you about it, then you gotta question 'What you doing listening to it'?"

6. She looks too adorable in this early video from Sista (which features Missy and Tim's former mentor Jodeci's DeVonte Swing); the ponytail game is on fleek and also the bit where they do a dance routine in white tracksuits with the right leg pulled up. Although Sista didn't really blow up, they did feature on the Dangerous Minds soundtrack, so that's kinda everything.





7. Shortly after the Sista video, Missy worked with then childhood star Raven Symone onThat's What Little Girls Are Made Of. It was via this video that Missy experienced 'the industry'; too 'dark skinned and too big boned', Missy was replaced in the video by a model. "I didn't even know they shot the video. They told me I 'didn't quite fit the image'… I was distraught," she told VH1.





8. So she made this her debut solo video which was just a glorious F.U, sips tea side eye not-giving-a-bag-of-dicks response to the music industry





9. Talking of The Rain, does anyone ever understand what Missy's saying in her lyrics, and, more to the point, do we care when it sounds so damn good?

10. Because Lady Marmalade





11. Because Cribs





12. For this outfit.






13. For managing to ignore Katy Perry at the Superbowl Halftime show despite Pezzas super irritating hypewoman style interruptions.





14. For writing a song called One Minute Man about premature ejaculation

15. For riding a horse head to toe in adidas.

16. For sipping tea while Madonna made out with Britney at the 2003 VMA's.


17. This video, from beginning to end, top to bottom





And this one





And one more, please sorry:





18. For all of her famous female friends; Missy was about that Squad Lyfe years before Swizzy, and her squad is so much better than yours…



19. But for never forgetting the people that matter i.e. the fans. If you've never been retweeted by Missy on Twitter you're not about this life.

20. Missy is hands down one of the most important figures in pop culture of the last two decades; whether turning music tropes upside down a million times, acting as an unofficial A&R for amazing new talent, or just being really bloody brilliant, let it be known we are more than happy to go all the way to the Isle of Wight this weekend JUST to see Miss E in action. We'd really like a new album soon Missy. It's about time - we freaks and geeks need you.

Missy plays Bestival this weekend. If you're there, don't forget to look out for the i-D Mix secret party deep in the woods…!

Eerste vrijdag van september

Elk jaar heb ik de eerste vrijdag van de maand september een 'date'. Met mijn vrouw.

We hebben elkaar ontmoet op een vrouwenavond in een drukke discotheek. In de bloei van ons leven en zoveel vrouwen die allen bekoren. Nee, die avond hebben we slechts gedanst en met de overload aan geluid weinig gesproken, elkaar een drankje aangeboden.

De vonk slaat over tijdens een ontmoeting waar ze mijn naam roept en zegt dat de koffie allang koud is. In gedachten schrik ik in eerste instantie van mijn naam boven de menigte uit. Dan verschijnt een gezicht, haar gezicht voor mijn ogen en ben ik verkocht. Wat mij in de wazige discotheek is opgevallen zijn haar klasieke gezichtstrekken, wat ik niet in het donker heb gezien zijn haar groene ogen. Kastanjebruin haar en groene ogen. Mijn God en dat roept ook nog mijn naam!

 

 

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