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Inspiring Thursday: Lissy Gröner

“There is no discrimination of same-sex couples in Belgium by law. And this is the signal we want to give to the people in Europe, to send the message out: it’s possible to honor the love of same-sex people by law”

Liselotte Carola (Lissy) Gröner an eminent German politician and women´s rights activist sadly passed away September 9, 2019. Born in 1954 in West Germany, Gröner grew to be a woman of many talents. She was an engaged Member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) Social Democratic Party of Germany and sat on the European Parliament from 1989 to 2009 through the Committee on Culture and Education as well as its Committee on Women´s Rights and Gender Equality.

She was a rare character in the field who, in early 2000s, called for a policy plan to incorporate the gender perspective in the European Parliament´s policies and activities, including its decision-making structures. This not only implied the inclusion of gender analysis into all stages of the budgetary process but also the implementation of effective press and information policy considering gender equality. The text was successfully adopted in 2003 by the Parliament. She was also a key contributor who worked tirelessly and successfully for the introduction of the DAPHNE programme in the late 1990s, a specific European project which aims to assist and protect women, young people and children victims of all forms of violence.

Gröner´s keen involvement in gender equality, migrant and refugee rights and children´s rights led her to become a member of the Women´s International League for Peace and Freedom, Vice-President of the Socialist International Women and Board Member of the Association of Social-Democratic Women. In regards to children´s rights, she was Vice-Chair of the Children´s Alliance and she gave the commencement speech for the Report of the Conference held by the European Forum for Child Welfare in Hamburg 1992.

Her impressive career trajectory went beyond borders with her active role as a Rapporteur for the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing and her responsibility as a substitute for the Delegation for relations with the countries of South Asia and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

On a personal side, Lissy openly identified as a lesbian. It is said that Gröner had a same-sex wedding held in Belgium in 2005 but was later divorced.

(This article was edited September 23, 2019)

Written by Claire Davis, WAVE Intern

Sources

Daphne – Combating Violence. https://www.efta.int/sites/default/files/publications/fact-sheets/EFTA-participation-in-EU-programmes/DAPHNE-Programme.pdf

Lissy Gröner. Wikiüedia The Free Encyclopedia. 2019. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lissy_Gr%C3%B6ner

Lissy Gröner. Prabook. https://prabook.com/web/lissy.groner/943962

Lissy Gröner. Revolvy. https://www.revolvy.com/page/Lissy-Gr%C3%B6ner

Procedure file. https://oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/printficheglobal.pdf?id=21891&l=en

Report of the Conference held by the European Forum for Child Welfare in Hamburg. 1992. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED351142.pdf

The DAPHNE programme. https://www.europrofem.org/White-Ribbon/13.institutions/1.ec/ec-en/02.ec_en.htm