Today is International Women’s Day. The UN’s Theme for the Day is ‘Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All‘. A directory of Irish events to mark the day is available here.
On March 5, the President of the European Commission launched a ‘Women’s Charter‘, which aims at building a gender perspective into all Commission policies for the next five years.
The Charter presents a series of commitments based on agreed principles of equality between women and men. It aims to promote:
- equality in the labour market and equal economic independence for women and men, namely through the Europe 2020 strategy;
- equal pay for equal work and work of equal value by working with Member States to reduce significantly the gender pay gap over the next five years; (In Ireland, the average pay gap stands at 17.1 %)
- equality in decision-making through EU incentive measures; (see a picture of Irish performance here)
- dignity, integrity and an end to gender-based violence through a comprehensive policy framework;
- gender equality beyond the EU by pursuing the issue in external relations and with international organisations.
The Charter will be followed by a new strategy for gender equality to be adopted by the Commission in mid-2010.