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Why has the European parliament's dreary Women's Rights committee suddenly become so fashionable?

By Manneken Pis   November 1998

Woman power

Long the Cinderella of European parliamentary committees, the Women’s Rights committee is becoming the hottest place in town. MEPs used to fight to keep from being assigned to it, but suddenly there is a flood of inquiries about vacancies, and MEPs who are certain of their re-election next year are trying to find ways to reserve seats. The explanation lies in the Treaty of Amsterdam, whose portentous implications are only just starting to hit lobbyists and MEPs alike. The treaty’s new Article 2 specifies that “equality of men and women” is now one of Europe’s fundamental tasks. The…

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