Image: EUAbout x International Women's Day
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: THE LAUNCH OF GENDER EQUALITY STRATEGY 2020-2025
On March 5, the European Commission has published its 2021 report on the EU gender equality, which highlights the role of the pandemic in increasing the disparities between men and women in almost every sector, both in Europe and around the world.
At the same time, the gender equality strategy is gaining importance within the EU agenda, thus the European Commission is committed to further implement it, by opening a new portal aimed at its monitoring.
Concerning the effects of COVID-19 on women and gender equality, the general framework is worrisome: Member States have not only registered a rise in domestic violence, but women, who have been at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic, have been the social group most affected by COVID-19 in terms of job market, as underlined by Vera Jourová, Vice-president for Values and Transparency, who have added “We have to promote equity and equality. For this reason, the EU has put women at the centre of the recovery and has forced member states to include the gender equality dimension in the investment financed by the recovery and resilience facility.”
With regard to equality, the European Commission has also proposed measures to ensure equal pay for the same jobs, by introducing measures of pay transparency, which focuses on two fundamental elements: measures to ensure transparency pay of employees and employers, as well as a better access to justice for the victims of pay discrimination. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has intervened on the issue by stating that “The same job deserves the same pay, and transparency is needed for the equality pay. Women have to know if their employers treat them fairly. Otherwise, they must be able to oppose and obtain what they deserve.”
EC APPROVES PROJECTS STIMULATING MEMBER STATES’ GROWTH
On March 3, the EC approved 226 projects in all 27 Member States to support the implementation of national reforms to stimulate growth. These support actions will be implemented through the Technical Support Facility (SST) and will have a total budget of €102.6 million for the year 2021 in order to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union.
The SST is the Commission's main instrument for providing technical support for reforms in the EU. It is part of the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the European Recovery Plan. It builds on the success of the previous Structural Reform Support Program (SRSP), which has supported more than 1,000 reform projects in all EU member states since 2017.
Elisa Ferreira, Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, said, "Reforms are needed to create a more positive business environment, strengthen health systems, reinforce social and education systems and generally improve the resilience of Member States and stakeholders in the face of complex challenges and global crises. The SST is a powerful mechanism to empower member states to deliver the reforms they need for sustainable growth."