What is the state of play for gender equality in the EU? Left MEP Sandra Pereira has analyzed the EU’s policies between 2018 and 2020 and concludes:Women remain the main victims of existing inequalities, the gender pay gap, poverty and precarious work. Member states and the EU have continuously failed in their responsibility to fulfil, respect and protect women’s human rights.”

According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, the EU is at least 60 years away from achieving full Gender Equality. It’s time for strong rules. Legislation on equality is needed to close loopholes, combat discrimination and further promote women’s rights  in everyday life. For Pereira, economic independence is crucial for the emancipation of women and for achieving equal participation in society. “We do not disconnect existing inequalities from the neoliberal policies imposed by the EU that have caused increased unemployment, deregulation of the labour market and working hours, increased precariousness and low wages, which affect women in particular. Similarly, cuts to public services, mainly in health, education and social welfare have further aggravated the multiple forms of discrimination and inequality that women face”, Pereira said, expressing her solidarity, while speaking in the European Parliament, with the women’s organizations that fight on a daily basis to ensure that equality becomes a reality in law and in life.

In other words: 
It is not enough to defend the reconciliation of personal, family and professional life if labour rights are not fulfilled, if working hours are completely deregulated and if salaries are not enough for people to make ends meet. It is not enough to defend the right to health – and to sexual and reproductive rights, an area in which there have been setbacks in several member states – if there are no high-quality, free public services providing this care. It is not enough to defend comprehensive education, capable of fighting stereotypes, if public schools do not have the conditions for such responsibility and are lacking in technical and human resources. It is not enough to defend the fight against violence against women if there are no immediate social responses that enable women to free themselves from the oppression they suffer. Advocating equal opportunities, and equal access to a career, is not enough
if there are no public infrastructure networks to support childcare, such as crèches, elder care, disability assistance.

MEP Sandra Pereira’s report was adopted by a large majority in the European Parliament, with the votes against coming from right-wing nationalist conservative MEPs.  

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