On 20-21 October 2011, in Cracow (Poland), the expert conference “Mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles for women and men as a chance to actively participate in the labour market” took place. EIGE presented the results of the report on reconciliation of work, private and family life prepared in close cooperation with the Polish Government in support of the review of implementing the Beijing Platform for Action by the current Polish Presidency of the EU Council. The conference is part of the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Family and Gender Equality organised by the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

EIGE's report outlines main policy and legislative developments at EU level concerning maternity, paternity and parental leave, institutional care arrangements for children and dependent elderly and distribution of paid and unpaid work between women and men.

EIGE’s Director Ms Virginija Langbakk emphasised that “for the objectives of equal, inclusive and sustainable growth, as defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy – the gender dimension is of crucial significance. And that in order for reconciliation policies to be effective, careful consideration must be given to the impact of parenthood on women’s employment, to the gender dimension of time distribution, to care for children and the dependent elderly and to the allocation of parental leave between women and men.

EIGE’s Senior Researcher Ms Jolanta Reingarde also presented the core findings of the Report, making reference to the core indicators analysed throughout the report, i.e. employed women and men on parental leave, the allocation of parental leave between employed men and women, childcare facilities and its availability throughout the EU Member States, the current policy landscape, dependent elderly men and women and the distribution of paid and unpaid work, describing the methodology used to collected the data for these indicators and presenting the conclusions drawn from the report.

Other important keynote speakers included Polish Minister of Labour and Social Policy Ms Jolanta Fedak, Head of Unit for Gender Equality at the European Commission Ms Daniela Banker, Director at the Department of Economic Forecast and Analyses at the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy Ms Elwira Gross-Golacka, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality at the European Parliament Mr Mikael Gustafssonand Dutch Senior Policymaker at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science Mr Charles de Vries amongst others.