EIGE's Director Carlien Scheele gave these opening remarks the event on Covid-19 and its impact on gender equality organised by Luxembourg's Ministry for Equality Between Women and Men on 7 March 2022. She emphasised the need to put gender equality at the heart of economic recovery and outlined ways EIGE will support this​.



Good morning dear ministers, bonjour.

This time last year, I was congratulating the Ministry for Equality between Women and Men for launching Luxembourg’s very own national Observatoire de l’Egalité.

This achievement will help Luxembourg measure gender equality and assess the impact of different policies. It will also help you track the different consequences of the Covid pandemic on women and men.

To identify such differences, we need data. EIGE, the EU’s knowledge centre on gender equality, has taken up this challenge in multiple ways:

  • We are examining the social and economic impact of the pandemic and releasing findings on a regular basis,
  • We have looked at how violence against women spiked during lockdowns, and have given recommendations to governments as to how they can prevent this happening in the future, 
  • We have developed tools to help policymakers put in place pandemic recovery budgets and policies that work for both women and men. 

As our economies start to recover from the pandemic, our evidence shows opportunities as well as challenges.

For instance, in childcare. Unpaid care work in the home really exploded for women during the pandemic. However, fathers working from home were also stepping in more than before. I sincerely hope this is a change that outlasts the virus.

This is just one example of the many gendered implications of COVID-19. We will be coming up with more proposals this year on how policymakers can protect gender equality by building “economies that work for people”, which is also the key topic of a campaign EIGE launches this year. Because an economy that is fair for women as well as for men, is an economy that is fair for all.  

I look forward to sharing our recommendations with you, so we can keep working together to improve gender equality in Europe. And I look forward to discovering the findings on the Observatoire in the field of healthcare coming up next year. Je vous remercie.

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Covid-19 and gender equality