The consultation takes place in the context of discussions on a renewed EU gender equality – The current 2010-2015 edition expires at the end of this year. However, while numerous social partners and civil society organisation have in the past consistently highlighted lacking progress in gender equality in almost all dimensions of work and private life, it is still not entirely clear whether the European Commission actually intends to commit to a renewed EU gender equality strategy. After the Commission withdrew its maternity leave directive proposal just some weeks ago, abolishing the idea of a new EU gender equality strategy would be another blow for women’s rights in the EU.
Both as a recognised EU social partner and through its work with the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), CESI has in the recent months tried to convince the European Commission of the necessity to launch a new gender equality strategy by the end of this year. CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “The Commission must acknowledge that women in particular still suffer from various kinds of disadvantages and discrimination especially in employment and on the labour markets and that a new, integrated and forceful strategy is required to change the status quo.”