Brussels, March 3, INEP – The European Union Friday announced a challenging initiative for the next five years to tackle gender inequality in the
25-member European bloc.
EU Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Vladimír Spidla, presented the 'Roadmap for equality between men and women 2006-10’, to the press in Brussels this afternoon. The initiative includes setting up a new European institute for gender equality with a budget of 52.5 million euro which is expected to be operational by 1 January 2007.
“Women in the EU are still not getting a fair deal, particularly in the workplace.. Women are under-represented in decision-making positions at senior levels and also in managerial positions. For instance, the number of women in managerial positions in the US is 36% while only 30% in the EU,’’ said Spidla. The roadmap aims to tackle the pay gap between men and women, support better work/life balance, eliminate violence and trafficking, support gender budgeting and promote gender equality both within and outside the EU.
“Parents have problems to reconcile their work and family lives in the majority of countries. Especially, women are under stress,’’ noted the Commissioner.
The tasks of the new proposed institute will include raising awareness among European citizens of EU gender equality policy, gathering and
analysing objective, reliable data that can be compared at EU level and the developing of new methodological tools.
The roadmap was adopted in view of the International women's day on 8 March.