Kirsten Lühmann on the International Women’s Day: Gender parity needs a joint effort

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. This year’s theme is ‘#PressforProgress’, a common hashtag for a strong call-to-action to press forward and progress gender parity. According to Kirsten Lühmann, President of CESI’s Commission on Women’s Rights and Equality, such gender parity is an ambitious but worthy target that needs a joint effort by all: Policy makers, authorities, NGOs, social partners, trade unions.

“2017 could again be a better year for more gender parity in Europe. Last year, the European Commission published its first major legislative proposal on gender equality since the beginning of its term in 2014: A proposal for on work-life balance for parents and carers

CESI’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Commission warmly welcomed the text as a concrete step towards a more equal sharing of domestic responsibilities between men and women, who, at the expense of their career, have so far often taken over the lion’s share of caring tasks in families. As we look into 2017, I hope that the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will swiftly take forward negotiations on a final legislative piece. It will be vital that the European Commission’s proposal will not be watered down.

In particular, additions to leave rights stipulated in the proposed Directive are preconditions to promote much-needed improvements in the work-life balance especially for women parents and carers. Just today, CESI Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Commission meets to convey this message to key decision makers in the European Parliament.”

“A new ambitious Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers is but one important step towards a more balanced gender parity overall. Disparities continue to exist in particular in many areas of the occupational life: The persistent gender pay and pension gap, existing discriminatory promotion practices and unequal access to managerial positions and continued violence and harassment at work: In all areas, a joint effort for more women empowerment is needed by policy makers, authorities, NGOs, social partners, trade unions.”

Picture: Kirsten Lühmann © dbb 2017