The EESC issues between 160 and 190 opinions and information reports a year.
It also organises several annual initiatives and events with a focus on civil society and citizens’ participation such as the Civil Society Prize, the Civil Society Days, the Your Europe, Your Say youth plenary and the ECI Day.
The EESC brings together representatives from all areas of organised civil society, who give their independent advice on EU policies and legislation. The EESC's326 Members are organised into three groups: Employers, Workers and Various Interests.
The EESC has six sections, specialising in concrete topics of relevance to the citizens of the European Union, ranging from social to economic affairs, energy, environment, external relations or the internal market.
The EESC NAT Section and its Sustainable Development Observatory take part in the #IWD2021 action!
Equality between women and men – too little progress!
Equality between women and men is a fundamental value and objective of the European Union, enshrined in the European treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and most recently reaffirmed in the European Pillar of Social Rights.
In the labour market, European women continue to face persistent gender inequalities, segregation and a gender pay gap, which leads to women being at greater risk of poverty. Women are over-represented in part-time employment and their choice of part-time work is often influenced by caring responsibilities. The share of involuntary part-time work has decreased only slightly (0.1%) in recent years.
According to the UN SDSN Sustainable Development Report 2020, short-term impacts of Covid-19 on SDG 5 can be negative due to possible disproportionate economic impacts on women (e.g., job losses, poverty) and other social impacts on women from the lockdown (e. g., domestic violence).
Last but not least, the current backlash against women's sexual and reproductive health and rights in Europe has serious implications for women's human rights and a general threat to the universality of human rights.
Gender equality and the climate and environmental crisis
Gender inequality has been linked to environmental degradation. The United Nations Development Programme’s 2011 Human Development Report found that when gender inequality is high, environmental factors such as forest depletion and air pollution are as well. Climate change disproportionately affects women, particularly poor women in developing countries. The IPCC found that gender inequalities are further exaggerated by climate-related hazards, and they result in higher workloads for women, occupational hazards indoors and outdoors, psychological and emotional stress, and higher mortality compared to men. Climate change has also been linked to gender-based violence, as increases in natural disasters limit access to resources, and violence against women is used to enforce gender imbalances for control of resources in these situations.
However, women can also be a key to solving climate problems. Empowering women represents a major opportunity in striving to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement. For instance, empowerment of women farmers, increased global access to family planning, and the right to an education — were the necessary changes proposed by Project Drawdown that could improve gender equality with huge benefits for the climate.