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EWL Beijing+20 in January - Women’s economic independence: the foundation of all rights

[Brussels, 5 January 2014] Did you know that at the current pace of progress, it will take 70 years to close the gender pay gap and 40 years to see equal share of housework in Europe? That women are 4 times more likely than men to work part-time? And that women bear a disproportionate share of tax burdens?

In January, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) focuses on Women and the Economy, as part of its Beijing+20 campaign. Read and share EWL’s factsheet about Women and the Economy, which is part of EWL report “From words to action” and comprises our key demands to the European Union and the Member States.

Each month in 2015 we will focus on one of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Platform for Action. Join us by following us on social media, disseminating our factsheets and report, coming to our events and the activities of our members if you can! Because all our members will be mobilising throughout Europe to make 2015 a critical year towards making all commitments of the Beijing Platform for Action a reality. Women and girls cannot wait 20 more years to enjoy their full women’s rights!

Women and the Economy: the reality, our demands
Women’s economic independence is of crucial importance to enable women to make real choices in their lives on an equal footing with men and in order to achieve effective gender equality. Women’s real and full economic independence is not yet a reality in any of the EU member states. Persistent gender gaps in employment pay, poverty, pensions and unpaid work, show that women’s economic independence is far from being achieved and that the vast majority of women remain in a dependency status.

Limited access to decent work, gender segregated labour markets, women’s over representation in unpaid care work, and social protection systems shaped around the male breadwinner model, are all major hurdles for the advancement of women and hinder women’s ability to enjoy their full and equal rights .

Women’s economic independence is more than a “business case”. We need a shift in the values conveyed by our economic and financial systems: from profitability to wellbeing, from competition to solidarity, from inequality to transparency. The economy must serve the wellbeing of all, and not the other way round.

Women and the Economy: the EWL in action!


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