International Women’s Day: it is time to #MakeHerCount

International Women’s Day: it is time to #MakeHerCount

PES Women President Zita Gurmai said:

“We are asking for women’s contribution to society to be valued properly. PES Women calls on all governments and on the European institutions to make women count in all their diversity and to prioritise them in the national recovery plans. Women must be included in the narrative and political process, with full participation and well-funded actions focused on their needs.

“Most frontline workers are women. In education, healthcare, retail, and the home, women are keeping society afloat. And they are doing this whilst receiving little recognition and lower pay. The pandemic has caused gender-based violence to rise and has put already vulnerable groups – women with disabilities, migrants, low-paid and precarious workers – at higher risk. Some conservative governments have even taken advantage of the situation to stage systemic attacks on women’s rights.

“This inequality is not justifiable. The contributions, rights and needs of women must count equally. It is time for action to guarantee women’s physical safety and social security, sexual and reproductive health and rights, better work life balance, equal pay and the full participation of women in decision making.”

PES Women launched the #MakeHerCount campaign last month on European Equal Pay Day, highlighting the 14.1% EU gender pay gap  and spotlighting the diverse profiles of European women. The campaign culminates today with progressive leaders joining the call to make women’s contributions count.

Progressive leaders across Europe have shared their support by setting out actions they are pushing for to achieve equality for women. This follows on the first part of the #MakeHerCount campaign, where women working in hard-hit sectors shared their experiences of working on the coronavirus crisis frontline.

The campaign focused attention on women whose voices are often overlooked by decision-makers: migrant women, retired women, women with disabilities, women activists, women of the LGBTI community, survivors of gender-based violence, single mothers and more. PES Women calls for greater attention to be paid to the challenges of those women who have special requirements, who represent multiple minorities, or who face intersectional discrimination.

To #MakeHerCount, PES Women want to see quick and effective implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and its principles for gender equality, as well as gender-sensitive national recovery plans with sufficient funding for gender equality and social inclusion. Achieving gender equality in Europe will require more than empty words and applause. It requires that women in all their diversity are listened to and are integrated into every step of the policy process. It requires a fundamental shift in economic policy making towards progressive, feminist economic principles which put wellbeing before profit. It requires targeted funding for women’s rights and gender equality at all levels of European governance. Finally, it requires political will – only through true commitment to a more equal and feminist Europe will we be able to #MakeHerCount.