International Conference: "Planet 50:50 - Europes Contribution to the SDGs"
You can watch the recorded conference here.
Civil Society Call to Action
On October 15th 2020, representatives of civil society developed the following calls to action in the context of the international conference "Planet 50:50 - Europe's contribution to SDG's" in four workshops. The conference was organized by UN Women Germany in cooperation with EIGE and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and is part of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The demands are directed at the EU Commission, the German Federal Government, the European Parliament and the German Bundestag. The civil society calls upon the political leaders to promote gender equality in all areas of society and to achieve it fully by 2030. The following measures are of particular importance in this context:
1. Eliminating structural disadvantages, overcoming stereotypical behavioral patterns, improving the framework conditions for the employment-care-model and upward revaluing so called systemically relevant occupations. These include among others changes in tax and social legislation (spousal splitting, mini-job regulations), working time-models to implement an earner-carer-model , better pay in the health care sector, retail trade, and social services, and the promotion of a caring conceptualization of masculinity.
2. Legal regulations to enforce the principle of equal pay for equal work and work of equal value. This includes, among others, the adoption of the EU Transparency Directive, but also legal rules and regulations to establish equal pay and the upward revaluation of the so-called female professions.
3. Comprehensive cross-departmental gender equality strategies at all levels. Gender equality policy must become a cross-sectional task. To this end, all departments at EU, federal and state level must promote gender equality in their policy areas.
4. Equality assessment for all legal measures and for all public funding. All measures and public spending must have a positive effect on gender equality. In particular, the Corona reconstruction plans must be designed in a gender-just manner.
5. Mandatory gender budgeting and gender reporting. Gender-fair budgetary policy and ongoing monitoring of gender equality measures and the status of gender equality are prerequisites for achieving the SDGs by 2030.
6. Gender-just regulation of companies on mandatory human rights due diligence along their supply chains. Compliance with women's rights needs to be a benchmark in the Supply Chain Act.
7. Parity in decision-making bodies and management positions. Women are devastatingly underrepresented in all areas of society, such as the private sector, administration, academia, the public sector, culture, charities, public corporations, etc. The adoption of the EU Women on Boards Directive and the expansion of the German law on women in executive positions must finally be passed. The goal of parity must quickly be implemented.
8. Parity in the parliaments. Parity laws must ensure that half of the population makes up half of the parliaments.
9. Condemn violence against women, combating everyday sexism, overcoming role stereotypes. Violence against women is not a trivial offense and must be condemned and fought against by all. This includes fighting everyday sexism and overcoming role stereotypes. This also applies to the digital sector.
10. Increasing the awareness of the Istanbul Convention and implement it in legal education and training of lawyers. The Istanbul Convention must be ratified and applied by all EU member states and the EU. Once ratified, the Istanbul Convention is directly applicable law. The regulations have to be made known to the public, to all political actors and to the legal profession in order to increase their applicability.
11. Adequate financing of the Istanbul Convention The obligations associated with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention must be adequately financed. This applies especially to the allocation of a needs-based aid system and monitoring.
Online conference on European Gender Equality Policies
More than 2600 people gathered on 15 October 2020 for online discussions on the status quo of European gender equality policy under the theme "Planet 50:50 - Europe's contribution to SDGS". Below you can find some of the important content and results of the conference.
We are overwhelmed by the positive responses to the high-level contributions that reached us. In four workshops, representatives of civil society discussed strategies and necessary changes in European gender equality policy. Over 350 registered guests participated. Additionally, another 2300 people followed the keynotes and discussions in our livestream. Despite the pandemic, we succeeded in bringing together representatives of the 1995 Beijing generation and of the Beijing+25 generation across national borders. The event was sponsored by our partners the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the European Institute for Gender Equality and took place within the framework of the German Presidency of the EU Council.
During the introduction by Karin Nordmeyer, president of UN Women Germany, it became clear that no state could be shaped without the equal involvement of women in all areas of society. However, she said that clear political will and greater accountability on the part of governments are needed to implement existing commitments and measures.
In her keynote, Carlien Scheele, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, looked back at what has happened since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration. She said that success was visible, but since the beginning of the 2010s, an increasing scepticism towards gender mainstreaming was noticeable as well.
As representative of the Beijing+25 Task Force, Elisabeth Keuten called for more time to reflect on structural challenges for equality at the (inter)national level in her keynote speech. Moreover, equality has to be look at from an intersectional perspective.
In her video message from New York, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, Åsa Regnér, called for more political decisions to address the issue of gender equality. "Let us stop the pushback against women's rights and gender equality" she urged the participants.
During the conference the demands of the speakers were made visual: the moderators and HeforShe ambassadors Vincent-Immanuel Herr and Martin Speer filled a scale with ideas on equality, which caused it to almost be in balance by the end of the event.
The speech by Prof. Dr. Christiane Funken was also a part of this process. Using statistical indicators, the sociologist drew attention to the extent to which the gender imbalance had become entrenched during the corona pandemic. Her plea was a to come to a new understanding of work in both private and professional contexts.
The impact of the corona pandemic on gender equality policy was then discussed in greater depth in the accompanying workshop. Further workshop topics were: "Closing the Gaps - Economic and Social Perspectives", "Ending Violence against Women" and "Gender Equality Strategies at all Levels".
Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, was another high-profile guest at the event. In her keynote speech, Commissioner Dalli called for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention by all EU Member States and the EU itself, as well as legally binding regulations to minimise the gender pay gap. Afterwards, Lesia Radelicki, representing Commissioner Dalli, answered questions from the online audience on European gender equality policy.
Federal Minister for Women Franziska Giffey reported on the Federal Government's current projects, such as the first interdepartmental equality strategy and the campaign "Stronger than violence" to fight violence against women. According to Minister Gifffey, the German EU Council Presidency is an opportunity to strengthen the role of women in the labour market. Federal Minister Giffey then answered the questions posed by the online audience.
During the conference, the participants were always able to vote on current key figures and questions. Approximately 100 questions and comments were submitted to be answered by the guest speakers and the podium.
In order to get closer to a planet 50:50, the event finally ended with the presentation of the workshop results in a moderated talk with representatives of all the organisations already mentioned.
Remember: Gender equality is a human right and must apply in all male-standardised societies!