10 Mar, 2020

Gender Equality: Strategy welcomed, action must follow

Ethan Arsht

Following the presentation of the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 on 5 March, Renew Europe strongly welcomes the Commission’s commitment to deliver a gender-equal Europe by for example proposing binding pay transparency measures to help close the gender pay gap, pledging to unblock the women on boards directive, as well as the inclusion of gender mainstreaming and intersectionality as cross-cutting principles in external and internal EU policy, including taking the gender dimension into account when it comes to new challenges such as digitalisation, AI or climate change.

While the European Commission’s dedication to finally complete the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention and tackle specific forms of gender based violence is welcome, Renew Europe will expect a comprehensive framework directive on combatting violence against women, including measures to fight psychological and sexual harassment in the workplace to be brought forward urgently should the Convention’s ratification remain blocked.

Irène Tolleret, Coordinator of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality and Shadow Rapporteur on the Gender Equality Strategy, commented:
“The adoption of a new and long-awaited Gender Equality Strategy is the best way to celebrate the International Women's Day this week. We appreciate Commissioner Dalli’s commitment to fight against gender-based violence, close the gender pay gap and promote equality throughout the society. However, we expect the Strategy to be followed by further concrete and binding measures to tackle the worrying backlash against women's rights that we are experiencing nowadays across Europe. This is only the beginning of our battle!”

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