Kirsten Lühmann on the International Women’s Day: Support the European Union’s Gender Equality Strategy

March 8 is International Women’s Day. Celebrated under the auspices of the UN every year since 1977, the day recalls persisting and widespread gender inequalities around the world. According to Kirsten Lühmann, President of CESI’s Commission on Women’s Rights and Equality, gender parity is an ambitious but worthy target that needs a joint effort by all: Policy makers, authorities, NGOs, social partners, trade unions.

“Just last week, the European Commission put forward a new gender equality strategy for the years 2020-2025. This responds to long-standing calls by NGOs and trade union organisations, including CESI and its Commission on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, for a new, fully-fledged vision of the EU for more gender parity in Europe.

In its strategy the European Commission sets out targeted measures it intends to pursue for more gender equality, including in the areas of combating gender-based violence and challenging gender stereotypes, boosting women’s economic empowerment and ensuring equal opportunities in the labour market, achieving more equal pay, and giving both women and men the opportunity to lead and participate in all sectors of the economy and in political life.

If these initiatives are all fully realised and implemented, this would be a great leap forward for women across Europe. This will however require cooperation by the EU’s other institutions, above all the Council; a success depends on the commitment of the member state governments to support the European Commission. As European trade unionists, we call on them not to hesitate. In this way, 2020 can see real improvements for gender parity in Europe.”