International Women’s Day 2017: Gender Equality – a European export

To mark International Women’s Day, the Commission is making a renewed call to ensure equality for women at home and around the world. A new report on equality between men and women published today shows that EU legislation, guidelines, actions and funding possibilities are supporting noticeable but uneven progress in EU Member States. Since the fundamental value of equality between men and women was enshrined in the Rome Treaty 60 years ago, women’s employment rate has reached an all-time high level. However, the gender pay gap remains stubborn with women still earning 16.3% less than men across Europe; and while the Commission is well on track to meet its own target of 40% female representation in senior and middle management positions by 2019, women continue to face a glass ceiling in reaching management and leadership positions. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Europe is a pioneer of gender equality and that is something we should be proud of. Be it in employment and occupation, vocational training, social security or access to goods and services: women and men have to be treated equally. That is the law. Unfortunately the road to effective equality still has some bumps ahead. That is why we cannot let up. I made equality a cornerstone of the administration I lead and I am proud that two years on we have made enormous strides in reaching the 40% female management target. But if intolerance and chauvinism start to proliferate inside or outside our borders we have to push back twice as hard with a simple and thoroughly European message: gender equality is not an aspirational goal, it is a fundamental right.” For more information on what the EU is doing for women’s rights and gender equality, see the press release and a Q&A. See here the joint statement on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017. A list of events taking place for International Women’s Day in which the Commissioners are participating, including the 2017 EU Prize for Women Innovators, which will be announced by Commissioner Moedas this evening, can be found here.