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What does it mean to be a woman in Europe today

Gender stereotypes are still strong  in the European countries even if in the last decades there have been remarkable progress. Women graduate are more than men but their pay is far from the male one: 16 % less; women represse only the 8% of Co in the main European companies 

This is a statement of Europea Commission that the 5th of March presented the new strategy for the gender equality 2020 / 2025. The actions outlined for the next five years move on a triple direction. First of all the liberation of women from violence and dangerous stereotypes:  in the European countries the 33% of women suffered physical and / or sexual violence and the 55% suffered sexual harassment. The goal is to create everywhere legal instruments in order to recognize as a crime every kind of violence against women. Second point: Women in the EU earn on average 16% less than men and they still experience barriers to access and remain at the labour market. Gender equality is an essential condition for an innovative, competitive and thriving European economy. Given demographic challenges and green and digital transitions, supporting women to find jobs in sectors with skills shortages, in particular technology and AI sectors, will have a positive impact on Europe’s economy.

To address the unequal pay the Commission launches today a public consultation on pay transparency and will table binding measures by the end of 2020. To allow women to thrive in the labour market, the Commission will also redouble efforts to enforce EU standards on work-life balance to enable real choice for women and men to develop equally both personally and professionally. Gender equality in context of labour market, social inclusion and education dimensions, will continue to be monitored through the European Semester.

Women remain underrepresented in leading positions, including EU’s largest companies where only 8% of CEOs are women. To let women lead in business, among others, the Commission will push for the adoption of the 2012 proposal for gender balance on corporate boards. The Commission will also promote women’s participation in politics, including in the 2024 European Parliament elections, including through funding and sharing best practice. To lead by example, the Commission will strive to reach gender balance of 50% at all levels of its management by the end of 2024.

Integrating a gender perspective in all EU policies

Under the lead of Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, and with support of the newly created Task-Force on Equality, the Commission will also integrate a gender perspective in all EU policies and major initiatives, also known as gender mainstreaming. The core challenges affecting the EU today, including the climate and digital transformations, have a gender dimension. The Gender Equality Strategy objectives will also be reflected in EU’s actions around the world, promoting women empowerment and tackling gender-based violence.

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