Gender equality is a fundamental right recognised by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 as well as by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The promotion of gender equality is therefore not only essential from a human rights perspective, but also makes sense from an economic viewpoint. It means equal access to resources, as well as empowerment and visibility of both women and men in all spheres of public and private life.

In order to reinforce the continuous work made so far, the European Commission released in December 2015 a Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019 which sets the framework for the Commission’s future work towards the promotion of gender equality. The Council of Europe, through its Europe Gender Equality Strategy (2014-2017) has also set guidelines that will lead the activities of the organisation towards its ambitious achievements.

Although inequalities still exist, the EU has made significant progress over the last decades, mainly thanks to equal treatment legislation, gender mainstreaming – such as the integration of the gender perspective into all other policies - and specific measures for the advancement of women. However, more efforts are required: gender gaps in the labour market remain, women are still under-represented in decision-making positions and over-represented in lower paid sectors. Women are still earning on average 16% less than men for each hour worked and continue to face big challenges addressing entrepreneurship - on average, from the 52% of the total European population, only 34,4% of the EU self-employed are female and 30% of start-up entrepreneurs. Addressing gender equality therefore signifies guaranteeing women the same levels of economic independence that men benefit from, ensuring that the pay gap is minimised and ultimately erased, and providing them with equal access to decision-making and managerial positions.

This timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss the latest developments in combating gender-based discrimination at European level. The symposium will explore how social, cultural and political obstacles can be overcome in order to implement innovative policies that will put an end to gender discrimination in the workplace and in society. Public Policy Exchange welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate.

Delegates will:

  • Share comparative knowledge on gender-based discrimination, violence and harassment by raising awareness of current challenges in Europe
  • Explore innovative solutions to fight the causes of gender inequalities at work and beyond
  • Promote measures to enhance the potential of women entrepreneurs


09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments
10:00 Chair's Welcome and Opening Remarks

 European Strategies for Gender Equality: Priorities and Challenges

  • Discussing the European Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019
  • Assessing the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Strategy (2014-2017)
  • Strengthening Gender Mainstreaming within Projects and Programmes at Regional and Country Levels
  • Recommendations for Future Actions
10:40 First Round of Discussions
11:10 Morning Coffee Break

Preventing Gender Discrimination in the Labour Market: Providing Equal Opportunities

  • Eliminating the Gender Pay Gap: Promoting Equal Pay for Equal Work and Work of Equal Value
  • Increasing Female Labour-Market Participation and Promoting Gender Balance in Decision-Making Positions
  • Eliminating Barriers for the Vulnerable Groups: Access to Labour market for Migrant women, Single Parents and other Minorities
  • Recommendations for Future Policy Action
12:00 Second Round of Discussions
12:30 Networking Lunch

Women Entrepreneurship:  Towards a Better Access to Training and Education

  • Fostering and Promoting Gender Equality in all Levels of Education
  • Increasing the Attractiveness of STEM Professions among Women
  • Supporting Measures to Enhance Digital Skills Among Women and Girls:  Promoting Female Employment in the ICT Sector 2016
  • Exchange of Best Practices and Peer-learning within Europe
14:00 Third Round of Discussions
14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

Tackling Gender-Based Violence, Protecting and Supporting Victims

  • Combating Gender-Based Harassment in the Workplace and Beyond
  • Engaging Men in Supporting Gender Equality
  • Addressing the Challenges and Step up Efforts to Guarantee Equal Access of Women to Justice
15:20 Fourth Round of Discussions
15:50 Chair's Summary and Closing Remarks
16:00 Networking Reception and Refreshments
16:30 Symposium Close


For further information please contact us on +44 (0) 20 3137 8630