On 13th March 2015, the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) organised a forum on gender in Brussels. This forum focused on the work of Sophie Jacquot, whose recent book explores the context of gender equality within the economic and budgetary crisis. Her presentation studies long term policy change and the impact of the crisis and austerity policies on gender equality in the EU.
Jacquot discussed how recently there has been progressive policy changes including changes from social policy to rights policy. The impact of the European Commission’s transfer to DG Justice was discussed along with how in recent years gender equality can be seen as a secondary objective for member states with reducing ambitions and perimeters to aggregate interests i.e. work/family balance, FGM and quotas.
During the discussion after Jacquot’s presentation, Mary Collins from European Women’s Lobby pointed out that gender budgeting is a useful tool and that gender equality should be made a political priority as it seems to have slipped down the political agenda. Other comments included the need to address the gender pay gap in relation to pensions, how the advance of gender equality is a very gradual process that takes a long time to develop in different places and that the role of the economic crisis shows a change of degree rather than a change of path.
For more information on the European Trade Union Institute or on Sophie Jacquot’s work click here: https://www.etui.org/Events/Monthly-Forum-Transformations-in-EU-gender-equality-from-emergence-to-dismantling
AGE Platform Europe thanks Éabha Harper-McKeever for the summary of the forum