International Women’s Day 2021: Women leading the fight against COVID-19

MEPs and national parliamentarians will discuss women’s key role in fighting the pandemic during an inter-parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday morning.

The annual inter-parliamentary meeting marking International Women’s Day gathers MEPs and national MPs to discuss gender equality and women’s rights issues. This year’s theme is ‘‘We are strong: Women leading the fight against COVID-19’’.

After an introductory word by the Chair of the EP Women’s Rights Committee, Evelyn Regner (S&D, AT), opening speeches will be delivered by EP President David Sassoli, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, followed by a keynote speech by the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The main panel discussion will deal with ‘‘Women on the frontlines: lessons learnt from the crisis management’’. Khadija Arib, President of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands, Dr Isabelle Loeb, Medical Director at Saint-Pierre Hospital in Brussels, Kristel Krustuuk, Founder and Chief Testing Officer at Testlio, Carlien Scheele, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, and Concha Andreu, Rapporteur on the Gender Equality Strategy at the European Committee of the Regions, will participate.

Closing remarks will be delivered by Helena Dalli, Commissioner for equality, and by Evelyn Regner.

WHEN: Thursday 4 March – 09.00-12.00
WHERE: Spaak building, room 3C050 and remotely

For more information, including the full programme, click here. Follow the event live here.

Webinar for journalists

On Wednesday 3 March at 9.30, the EP press service will hold a webinar for journalists on women’s leadership in the fight against COVID-19, focussing on scientists and carers. Participants will include Women’s Rights Committee Chair, Evelyn Regner, Professor Katalin Karikó, researcher and Senior Vice-President of BioNTech, Dr Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, researcher and Head of the laboratory of virology of Lazzaro Spallanzani, Alda Dalla Valle, Head nurse of Epicura Hornu’s emergency service, and several MEPs.

For the full programme of the webinar, click here. If you are interested in participating in this online press seminar, please send an email to

Plenary event

On 8 March, just after the opening of the plenary session, the EP will mark International Women’s Day. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, will address MEPs via a pre-recorded video message.

Facebook Live

Also on 8 March, Women’s Rights Committee Chair Evelyn Regner, will be live on Facebook to answer citizens’ questions about the current state of play on gender equality in the EU and how the pandemic has worsened the plight of women. Watch it live here.