"Europe today is struggling with the social implications brought on by the protracted economic crisis. It is also dealing with a rising tide of intolerance and discrimination that has accompanied the increasing numbers of refugees arriving in Europe. All these challenges could detract attention from Europe´s commitment to gender equality" states Professor Ruth Rubio Marin from the European University Institute.
Professor Rubio Marin gave the keynote speech at this year’s State of the Union conference, with “Women in Europe and the World” as the central theme. Over three days, gender equality was front and centre of discussions, showing that it is still an unresolved and important matter for Europe.
To address the current challenges, Professor Rubio Marin puts forward a new emancipatory framework for Europe, one that brings together gender equality, democracy and social justice.
“This new model for development would challenge gender stereotypes and predefined gender roles. It would also involve the equal representation of women in every site of decision making. It would mean bringing a gender perspective to macro-economic policy and gender budgeting. Work/life balance policies would be seen as good for everyone, not just women”.
She has a very clear vision of the changes needed for this to happen.
“This vision for gender equality would require affordable quality childcare, after school care and care for other dependents, including the elderly and the differently abled persons. It would require flexible working arrangements, such as job-sharing, working from home, flexitime and innovative measures to promote equal sharing of work and care”.
With this scenario, Europe can aspire to close the current gender gaps. As it stands today, the EU’s average score for gender equality as measured by EIGE’s Gender Equality Index is 52.9 out of 100, proving that Europe still has a long way to go before it achieves full gender equality.
Watch Professor Ruth Rubio Marin’s keynote speech
Read Professor Ruth Rubio Marin’s keynote speech
 The text is currently being translated into Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Cantonese, Czech, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Mandarin, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish and will soon be available in all these languages through the same link.
Learn more about EIGE’s Gender Equality Index here.