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New EU Gender Equality Strategy

March 6, 2020 - Policy News

New EU Gender Equality Strategy

On the 5th March the von der Leyen Commission launched the EU Gender Equality Strategy, as a framework for the Commission to work for a Union of Equality.

With the EU Gender Equality Strategy, the Commission presents a collection of policy goals and key actions for the 2020-2025 period. The objective of this strategy is to improve gender equality across EU member states, to achieve a notable progress by 2025 “towards a gender-equal Europe”. One of the main measures of the Commission is to include the gender dimension in all EU policy areas.

The EU Commission highlights the important role of the social services sector in closing gender gaps in the labour market by saying: Insufficient access to quality and affordable formal care services is one of the key drivers of gender inequality in the labour market. Investing in care services is therefore important to support women’s participation in paid work and their professional development. It also has potential for job creation for both women and men”.

This key role of the sector had already been outlined by the Social Employers during the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) EU event on its Gender equality index 2019.

The Strategy sets out objectives and key actions in care services to improve gender equality in Europe, which will have an impact on social services providers and employers. 

The objectives and key action collected in the strategy are:

  • Available and affordable good quality care services: Support the Member States’ work on improving the availability and affordability of quality care services through more and better investment from European Social Fund Plus, the European Regional Development Fund, the InvestEU programme and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
  • Child Guarantee: Proposal for a Child Guarantee in 2021 which will focus on the most significant barriers preventing children from accessing the necessary services for their wellbeing and personal development, in order to break the poverty cycle and reduce inequalities.
  • Barcelona targets: Proposition to revise the Barcelona targets, for the provision of early childhood education and care.
  • Green Paper on Ageing: Consultation for a Green Paper on Ageing with a focus on long-term care, pensions and active ageing which have an effect on women’s participation in the labour market.
  • Work Life Balance: Ensure the correct transposition and implementation of the Work Life Balance, among EU countries.

The EC communication is available here.

Access to the factsheet here.

About Gender equality at work, read the recently released Eurofound report here.

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