On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Zita Gurmai MEP, President of PES Women, has emphasized the need for a European Youth Guarantee. The rapidly growing number of unemployed young women is set to have a deep and sustained impact on society. Ms. Gurmai delivered her message at the European Young Socialists Winter University.
PES Women’s President, Zita Gurmai MEP said; “our youth employment campaign is a question of social justice, particularly for women. This is a full scale crisis that European decision makers must turn all their attention to”. Making a reference to the recent announcement by the European Commission to call for quotas in executive boardrooms, Ms. Gurmai said that ; “The world outside the boardroom is where this crisis is wrecking havoc on women’s lives. On international women’s day that is where we need to have our focus – on the ordinary women who are struggling to make ends meet, balance work and life, or simple trying to find a job”.
PES Women President Zita Gurmai highlighted the gender perspective of the PES campaign, which goes under the slogan “Your Future Is My Future”. Studies show that women are often overqualified and underpaid for their jobs, their unemployment rate is higher and they are more likely to end up in precarious jobs. The PES proposals aim to fight the gender segregation in education and in the labour market, and to reconcile the work/private life balance. The suggested improvements would have remarkably positive effects on growth as well as on ensuring the economic independence of women at all stages of their life.
A European Youth guarantee - a “new social contract” for young people based on successful existing schemes in Austria and Finland - would need only €10 billion of unused EU funds. Set against the annual €100 billion cost of youth unemployment in Europe it is an easy sell”, said Zita Gurmai (PES Women President).
The central plank of the PES plan is that every young person in Europe –no matter the gender– is offered a job, further education or work-focused training at the latest four months after leaving education or becoming unemployed.