Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services

Delivered in Plenary - 16th April 2013

Mr President

Gender equality is of course something which all politicians should support. Women have been historically discriminated against and the global battle for emancipation of the sexes has not yet been fully won. Nevertheless, equality is an extremely complex issue. For instance, treating women and men the same in matters of insurance ignores a range of gender-specific factors, such as physical strength, longevity or risk aversion, which I think are important.

Almost everybody here must agree that women are safer drivers than men. Generalisations always lead to anomalies and occasional injustice, but the Test-Achats ruling on car insurance was a rare case where women were benefiting from a system that recognised a quality rather than an apparent deficiency. Therefore, for this reason, amongst others, I voted against this report.