International Women’s Day is a good opportunity to reiterate the call for more progress on gender equality in Europe and in the world. In Europe we still have a lot of work to do in this area. In a range of opinions on gender equality, the EESC has pointed out that women’s involvement in all aspects of public, economic and social life is the key to boosting economic growth and securing social justice.
The EESC has consistently called on the Member States to work towards gender equality, for example by offering flexible ways of organising working time, by improving childcare and by encouraging men to do their share of family tasks; by supporting women entrepreneurs, and improving their access to finance; by promoting equal pay for work of equal value; and by enabling women to take leadership positions in various professional spheres.
In many parts of the world, women's rights are still being stifled: women face violence, harassment and discrimination of all kinds. We must continue to raise public awareness on these issues, among both men and women, as a first step towards understanding and accepting women's rights worldwide. A global sustainable society can be said to exist only when we have tapped the full potential of women's equal participation in all areas of life as a fundamental element of democracy and justice.
We applaud those many civil society organisations and individuals working tirelessly to support gender equality through a multitude of initiatives, causes and actions: small businesses, foundations and associations, charities promoting women’s rights and corporations supporting women.
On this occasion, we would also like to express our best wishes to our female EESC members and staff members. We thank you for your commitment to the work of the EESC.
All women and men are entitled to reach their full potential.
Happy Women’s Day!
Staffan Nilsson Anna Maria Darmanin Martin Westlake
EESC President EESC Vice-President EESC Secretary-General