On 23rd March PES Women held its yearly statutory meeting in Copenhagen.
In presence of Danish Minister for Gender Equality Manu Sareen and Spokesperson on Gender Equality Rasmus Langhoff MP, PES Women welcomed the Danish EU Presidency priorities to tackle gender inequality.
The Danish priorities include addressing gender segregation in education, creating green jobs for women and adopting the maternity leave directive (which establishes a minimum of 4 months of maternity leave in the EU) at Council level.
PES President Zita Gurmai said: "I welcome the Danish Presidency commitment to gender equality, one of the basic pillars of an equal and just society. I strongly believe that the Danish programme will contribute to tackle one of the major problems currently facing the EU: youth unemployment. In some EU countries as much as one young person out of two cannot find a job."
In 2012 the PES and ECOSY-Young Socialists have launched the campaign "Your future is my future - a European Youth Guarantee now!". The campaign calls for the implementation of a youth guarantee that can insure that every young person gets a job, further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving school or becoming unemployed.
During PES Women statutory meeting, Zita Gurmai presented the campaign to the Danish Presidency representatives, underlining the gender perspective of youth unemployment. She stated "the specific causes and long term consequences of youth unemployment among women should not be neglected. In the declaration we are adopting today, we address these causes - namely gender segregation in education and the lack of work-private life balance - and we propose concrete actions to tackle them. We must put these proposals into practice if we want to stop the growing inequality between women and men in the labour market."
The Declaration, supported by the Danish Social Democrats, calls on the EU to:
- Develop gender-sensitive orientation policies in schools and universities, in order to combat gender stereotypes and male-dominated or female-dominated employment fields;
- Establish youth employment as a sub-target of the European 2020 Strategy;
- Develop new qualified and well-paid jobs, especially green jobs and jobs in the care sector for women and men;
- Strengthen policies to reconcile professional and private life, especially through the advancement of Maternity Leave Directive at European level and providing accessible, affordable and good quality care services for children and dependent adults;
- Create training to develop new skills for women.
On 24th March PES Women President will travel to Paris to participate in a joint FEPS-Fondation Jean Jaurès seminar on how to promote gender equality in a time of economic crisis. During the seminar, Zita Gurmai will present the PES-ECOSY campaign and explain how a youth guarantee can be a key factor in tackling gender inequalities.