Statement by the European Commission ahead of International Women's Day 2020
Ahead of the International Women's Day, the European Commission issued the following statement:
"Gender equality is a core principle of the European Union. Yet it is still not a reality. In business, politics and society as a whole, we can only reach our full potential if we use all of our talent and diversity. Women face too many hurdles and barriers on their way. In Europe and beyond, women continue to be targets of gender-based violence, stereotypes and hate speech.
Even if Europe is a good address for women, the numbers are telling: one in three women in the EU was subject to physical and/or sexual violence. Even though more women graduate from universities, they earn on average 16% less than men do. Only 8% of CEO's of the EU's largest companies are women.
This is not what our Union stands for. Everyone, regardless of his or her gender, should be able to live free from violence and pursue his or her chosen path in life.
We need a change and the moment is now. Ahead of the International Women's Day on 8 March, we need to remember: progress towards equality between women and men is neither inevitable nor irreversible.
This is why, the Commission adopted the EU's Gender Equality Strategy, setting out concrete actions for the next 5 years, including on pay transparency.
The Strategy is also the EU's contribution to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - the first universal commitment and action plan to advance on equality between women and men – which marks this year the 25th anniversary since its adoption. The EU will continue to support, promote and protect women's rights and women empowerment, while tackling gender-based violence, including in fragile, conflict and emergency situations.”
Delivering on the commitments made by President Ursula von der Leyen, the first female President of the European Commission, in her political guidelines, yesterday, Vice-President Vera Jourová and Commissioner Helena Dalli presented the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025. The actions outlined in the Strategy include, among others, legislation to prevent and combat specific forms of gender based violence, a campaign to combat gender stereotypes; enforcing work-life balance measures, and equal pay measures; pushing for achieving gender-balance in decision-making and politics.
As one of the first actions, the Commission launched yesterday a public consultation on pay transparency with an aim of tabling binding measures by the end of 2020. The core challenges affecting the EU today, including the climate and digital transformations, have a gender dimension. Thus, the Strategy commits to ensure that the Commission will include an equality perspective in all EU policy areas.
The Strategy also includes external actions to promote gender equality in third countries. The EU will continue and strengthen its efforts towards gender equality around the world, as part of the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Women, Peace and Security agenda. Building on the current Gender Action Plan (2016-2020), the Commission jointly with the European External Action Service will present a new Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in External Relations by the end of 2020. The launch of the Spotlight Initiative by the European Commission together with the United Nations specifically addresses gender-based violence at global level.
For More Information
Factsheet (available in all EU languages)
Open call for proposals on closing gender gaps – deadline 1 April 2020
Latest News from
Parliament wants to grant EU consumers a “right to repair”27/11/2020 10:38:00
Parliament wants to boost sustainability by promoting reuse and repairs and by tackling practices that shorten the lifespan of products.
Steps to improve EU democracy ahead of 2024 elections27/11/2020 09:25:00
Parliament aims to enhance democracy and enable full participation in the European political space, based on lessons from the 2019 European elections.
MEPs set out blueprint for a new Industrial strategy27/11/2020 08:20:00
Parliament advocates a shift in the EU’s approach to industrial policy, to help businesses cope with the crisis and face the digital and environmental twin transitions.
Streamlining public procurement within the EU for more efficient public spending26/11/2020 16:43:00
The Council yesterday adopted a set of conclusions centred on how efficient public procurement rules and practices, combined with increased public spending, can accelerate the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and lead to a sustainable and more resilient EU economy.
Orange the World: NO to violence against women26/11/2020 15:25:00
The European Parliament is again joining the UN's Orange the World campaign to combat violence against women.
MEPs call on EU leaders to end MFF deadlock without giving in on rule of law26/11/2020 14:33:00
EP group leaders and the Commission advise Hungary and Poland to take the EU to Court on rule of law, instead of penalising EU citizens by blocking the budget.
Affordable, accessible and safe medicines for all: the Commission presents a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe26/11/2020 13:25:00
The Commission yesterday adopted a Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe to ensure patients have access to innovative and affordable medicines and to support the competitiveness, innovative capacity and sustainability of the EU's pharmaceutical industry.
Successful third issuance of EU SURE bonds by the European Commission26/11/2020 12:38:00
The European Commission has issued a €8.5 billion social bond under the EU SURE instrument to help protect jobs and keep people in work.
Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with Moderna to ensure access to a potential vaccine26/11/2020 11:33:00
The European Commission yesterday approved a sixth contract under the EU Vaccines Strategy, this time with the pharmaceutical company Moderna.