On the road to equality: International Women’s Day

Striving for a Union of Equality

Commission speaks up for women across the world

International Women’s Day is celebrated every March 8. Millions of people worldwide are stated on this date to commemorate the struggle that women have fought for years for equal rights. This day is officially celebrated since 1975, when it was declared by the United Nations.

On the occasion of today’s International Women’s Day, the Commission is speaking up for women’s rights in Europe and abroad, by issuing the following statement: “Europe ranks among the safest and most equal places for girls and women in the world. […] But […] Also in Europe women are still facing challenges, inequalities and threats in their everyday lives: abuses and harassment, lower wages, fewer job and career opportunities. And that is unacceptable. […] Many of the remaining inequalities are linked to the place of women at work. The EU’s new rules on Work-Life Balance will contribute to getting more women at work by giving families a real choice on how to organise their professional and private life. […] Women remain underrepresented in politics. In the upcoming European elections, we would like to see more women across the EU not only voting, but standing and succeeding as candidates. The Commission also calls for more women to be represented in the highest level of all EU institutions, including as Commissioners. This Commission has been leading by example: today we have 9 female Commissioners and women account for almost 40% of our managers. […] Gender equality is also at the core of our continuous engagement with partner countries worldwide. […] We are committed to giving all women and girls equal access to health services, education and economic empowerment, and the opportunities to shape their own future.”

The Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025

The European Commission presented its strategy for equality between women and men in Europe. The Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 sets the current framework for EU action to promote one of its fundamental values, equality between women and men. The year 2021 was the second year of its implementation. The Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 sets out key actions for the next 5 years and commits to ensure that the Commission will include an equality perspective in all EU policy areas. The following points represent the European Commission’s priorities in the Gender Equality Strategy (2020-2025):


  • Ending gender-based violence
  • Combating gender stereotypes
  • Reducing gender gaps in the labour market
  • Achieving balanced participation of women and men in different sectors of the economy
  • Tackling the gender pay and pension gap
  • Reducing the gap in caring responsibilities
  • Achieving balanced representation of women and men in decision-making positions and politics
  • Gender mainstreaming and an intersectional perspective in EU policies


Report on Gender Equality betweeen women and men in the European Union

The goal is a Union where women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversity, are free to pursue their chosen path in life, have equal opportunities to thrive, and can equally participate in and lead our European society. Across the EU, thanks to the newly agreed Work Life Balance directive, fathers will have a right to take at least 10 working days off around the birth of their child. Parental leave also becomes an individual right for mothers and fathers without a transfer of the four months to the other parent, a strong incentive for men to also make use of this possibility. Across the EU, both women and men will be able to use a ‘carer’s leave’ of five days per year in the event of sickness of a relative who depends on them for care.

The Commission published the She Figures 2021 report, which monitors the level of progress made towards gender equality in research and innovation in the European Union. The EU’s research and innovation programme states that key findings of the report are that the number of women with a career in research is slowly growing in Europe. Still, they remain significantly underrepresented, and their potential is not fully recognised and valued. The Commission has also published its 2021 report on equality between women and men in the EU. The good news is that Europe is making progress; however, we must speed up change.

Visit us on sikhna.eu and learn how to make a contribution for a more gender-equal world.


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