Equality between women and men is one of the values of the European Union. It is written into the Union’s founding treaties. And it is a goal the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is proud to help EU Member States work towards.

For the last two years, International Women’s Day took place in the context of a global pandemic. This year, it happens against the backdrop of war on EU borders, as well as a rapidly emerging humanitarian crisis.  

Why is gender equality so relevant now and in the future?

Gender equality remains a goal that is critical for the health and wealth of our societies. And it is a goal we cannot achieve by chance. The gains we have made in gender equality since the EU treaties were signed in 1957 are the result of hard work, including laws, campaigns, and individual acts of bravery. 

That is why, in preparation for International Women’s Day 2022, we have continued to present our evidence to policymakers. We did so in the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and at a ministerial conference looking at the European child guarantee, hosted by the French presidency of the EU. And we have pointed out the implications of care and unpaid work on women’s and men’s lives at Eurofound’s Foundation Forum 2022. We have also contributed to a roundtable looking at how the police can help protect victims of domestic violence.

Today we present our findings on the impact of COVID-19 on gender equality to the General Secretariat of the Council, and take part in a joint webinar with Eurofound on the consequences of the pandemic on the labour market.

And tomorrow we launch the Gender Equality Strategy Monitoring Portal alongside the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, which will enable anyone to use our data to monitor the progress of gender equality in the EU.

Moving forward, EIGE, as the EU’s knowledge centre for gender equality, will continue to provide governments, NGOs, businesses and individuals with the knowledge and tools to help us finally achieve gender equality.

Together, let’s keep building societies where everyone has equal rights and opportunities.