Workshops at the Step it up for gender equality!


FEPS Office, Rue Montoyer 40, 1000 Brussels

Gender equality, economic rights and austerity policies

Date: 14.30-17.30, 3 March 2016

Venue: FEPS office

Facilitator: Mary Collins, European Women’s Lobby

Expert: Maciej Sobocinski, FEPS Young Academics Network

60% of all university graduates are women. Yet women in the EU earn 16% less than men, so women are effectively working two months a year for no pay. In the long-term, lower salaries result in lower pensions, which can lead to increased risks of poverty. The pension gap between women and men is around 39%. The Directive dealing with the principle of equal pay and equal treatment at work for men and women was adopted in 1975 and regularly updated, but with no changes in the present trend, equal pay will not become a reality before 2084.

The EU 2020 goal is 75% employment rate for all: with a 12% gap, the current employment rate for women is only 63 %. According to the OECD, the number of women taking up informal and unpaid jobs is rising. Austerity measures have been proved to finally have a great influence on the public sector, where the majority of women's jobs can be found. About 80% of the working poor are women and more than a third of older women in the European Union receive no form of pension. The feminisation of poverty is increasing: women are more at risk of falling into poverty than men, especially due to austerity policies.

The workshop will focus on gender equality and youth unemployment, equal pay and poverty, and provide recommendations. 

The rise of anti-gender and anti-feminist movements

Date: 14.30-17.30, 3 March 2016

Venue: FEPS office

Facilitator: Judit Tanczos, FEPS Policy Advisor

Experts: Weronika Grzebalska, FEPS Young Academics Network, Joel Le Deroff, Rainbow Rose

A transnational anti-gender movement has emerged since the Beijing 1995 Conference sponsored by the Catholic Church in response to the United Nations conferences in Cairo and Beijing, and has developed fiercely at European level in the last ten years, seriously challenging women’s and minorities' rights, and attempting to undermine the very foundations of liberal democracy.

While the concept of “gender” lies at the centre of these conservative mobilizations, they oppose a much broader spectrum of issues associated with progressive politics: gender equality and mainstreaming policies, LGBTI rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights (including contraception and abortion), sexual and relationship education. “Gender”, therefore, is an ideologically and symbolically loaded umbrella term used to denote all these contested issues at once.

The focus will be on reflection on the current situation of these movements at national/local level; analysing the main challenges and provide recommendations for strategies addressing the anti-gender/anti-feminist movements.