PERC Women Committee’s statement for International Women’s day ’Less flowers, more rights!’

We demand equal rights for all women everywhere and every day! Gender equality is a challenge globally, not excluding Europe. Europe should lead with good example and to abolish right wing populism, any forms of radicalism and anti-feminism. Equal access to jobs, education, social protection and employment should be a guarantee under New Social Contract.

Women still face discrimination everywhere, they are severely under-represented in decision-making bodies, the global gender pay gap is still above 20% and the gender gap in labour force participation sits at 27%. We want our Trade Unions to be example in representation of women in decision making bodies and managing positions. Women are crucial players at collective bargaining tables in boosting the fight to close the gender pay gap and end segmentation of workforce and to ensure inclusive and equal world of work for all.

Women are in the majority in the informal economy and much work done by women is undervalued or not paid at all. Even before pandemic women were over-represented in precarious, casual and informal work. The overwhelming majority of care work was undertaken by women, often unpaid, due to inadequate investment in the care economy, but pandemic has even worsened the situation. It has had a disproportionate effect on women, as health and care systems were overwhelmed placing additional burdens mainly on female household members, jobs – particularly lower paid jobs – where women are over-represented were lost and the incidence of harassment and violence against women increased dramatically in most countries around the world. Systematic undervaluing of women’s work remains a problem across the world, not excluding Europe. Funding of care is insufficient – this has to change in order to meet pressing needs, and to ensure equality. We call for investment in the care economy in all countries and proper recognition of the value of care work.

A large proportion of women experience, or have experienced, gender-based violence and harassment, including at work. We are moving forward in recognizing GBV and ratification of Convention 190, however these steps are still too slow and too small and still long way lies ahead with need to focus on legal basis analysis and implementation after ratification has been achieved and with need to develop actions to ensure enforcement and monitoring. We need strong cooperation in learning from good practices at national level and even before ratification we encourage Unions to include GBV prevention measures into CBAs in advance.

We remain strong in our determination to advance gender equality and solidarity with all women everywhere and every day!

PERC Women Committee