Report on women’s economic empowerment in the private and public sectors in the EU (EP/FEMM, September 2017)

Oct 03, 2017




The European Parliament considers that women’s economic participation and empowerment are key for strengthening their fundamental rights, enabling them to reach economic independence, to exert influence in society and to have control over their lives, while also breaking the glass ceilings preventing them from being treated equally to men in working life; encourages, therefore, the economic empowerment of women through political and financial means.

In addition, it emphasises that the strengthening of women’s rights and economic empowerment means that it is necessary to address the deep-rooted unequal gender power-relations that give rise to discrimination and violence against women and girls, as well as against LGBTI persons, and that gender power structures interact with other forms of discrimination and inequality such as those related to race, disability, age and gender identity.

Europe is indisputably one of the world leaders when it comes to women’s rights and gender equality. However, a precondition for excelling in equality and women’s empowerment is women’s equal participation in the labour market and in economic decision-making.

Gender equality plans are a tool that tackles inequality in the workplace through many various ways, addressing recruitment, pay, promotion, training and work-life balance. Moreover, a gender equality plan can work towards the prevention of sexual harassments as well. 32 % of the sexual harassment cases in the EU were experienced by women at their workplace and due to experiencing such violence, a large number of women alters their behaviours by avoiding being alone with a colleague or a boss. We need to have zero tolerance against harassment and everybody including women needs to be able to feel safe in their work environment.

We are only three years away from 2020, and we have very high goals which were set-up by ourselves, that we have to reach. We cannot accept a failure and have to keep working towards reaching these goals regarding women’s empowerment and presence in the labour market. We have to show leadership with a firm stance that we do not tolerate inequality and that we expect both the public and private sectors to take responsibility for the inequality that they are reproducing through the problems presented in this report.

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