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Women’s and Gender Equality

Gender Equality – public service workers leading the way

- Find out who is your EPSU representative for Gender Equality here

- Check out EPSU Congress 2009-2014 Resolutions on equal pay: Equal Pay and Equal Pay in female dominated sectors

What are the main issues for EPSU ?

Over 65% of public service workers in the European Union are women who deserve recognition, in terms of the role they play, and in terms of the pay they receive. Closing the gender pay gap and improving women’s pay is a key issue to EPSU.

The pay gap in public services is about women getting less money than men for the same work or work of same value. It is also about women having fewer career opportunities than men.

Within the EPSU organization, we strive towards achieving gender equality in decision-making bodies and committees. Of the top 8 positions in EPSU, 4 are currently held by women, including the post of President, Deputy General Secretary, and Vice President. EPSU’s Gender Equality Committee has the same constitutional standing as the Executive Committee. More efforts must be deployed to be truly representative of our membership consisting of a large majority of women.

- Find out more about EPSU and Women’s and Gender Equality Committee


Trade unions for a new framework of the European Strategy for Equality between women and men – Results of the ETUC survey

(6 June 2015) The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) conducted its 8th survey on positions of women in the European trade union movement, which was released mid-May. Its aim is to assess progress in reducing the representation and decision-making gap between women and men in trade unions. Up to 52 national trade union confederations responded. The first part of the study highlights general trends about female membership. The second part focuses on the claims of ETUC members to (...)

Urgent Action on Maternity Leave Directive needed- don’t let this proposal be the first victim under RE-FIT!

(31 March 2015) To all affiliates for information Dear colleagues, I am addressing you on a urgent matter with regard to the 7 years impasse in the European Council on adopting a revised version of the Maternity Leave Directive that would agree on a minimum 18 weeks minimum paid maternity leave. In 2008 the European Commission proposed to raise it to 18 weeks, the standard of the UN International Labour Organisation. Since then, however, the European Parliament and Council have failed (...)

EPSU participated to ETUI Conference “Women’s Health and Work” 4-8 March 2015

(24 March 2015) Women work more part time and temporary work contracts. These jobs provide limited access to training (leading to limited awareness of health risks), professional advancement (leading to static work and higher risk of MSD), rehabilitation (leading to chronic health problems) – these properties are rather accessible to or directed at fulltime workers or male dominated jobs. Even when women work fewer hours, they still end up working more than men in terms of unpaid (...)

EPSU signs up to Global Unions statement demanding UN to cancel partnership with taxi-company Uber

(Update - 25 March 2015) The Executive director of UN Women has now cancelled the collaboration, following pressure from women’s rights organisations and trade unions. (16 March 2015) Global unions including PSI and labour rights supporters have reacted with disbelieve over the plan of the UN agency for women’s rights - UN WOMEN to enter a partnership with taxi-company UBER to “create 1,000,000 jobs for women as drivers on the Uber platform by 2020.” These jobs will be precarious and (...)

Equal pay - a necessary investment for Swedish unions says EPSU President

(13 February 2015) Annelie Nordström, EPSU President and Chair of KOMMUNAL argues in an newspaper article that equal pay is a necessary investment for Swedish unions. According to Swedish statistics women still earn only 94 percent of what men earn in the same job . The Swedish Equal Pay Campaign organized with all major Swedish trade unions also underlines that the average woman earns 4500 SEK less than the average man in Sweden. That is 54 000 SEK in a year and during an entire work life (...)

Consultation Meeting with Social Partners at European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in Vilnius

(20 November 2014) The Social Partners represented by ETUC, EPSU, ETUCE, Business Europe, CEEP and UAPME met in Vilnius on 17 November to discuss how to work together to promote and support gender equality in the EU. EPSU was represented by C. Jakob, Policy Officer for Local and Regional Government and Gender Equality. The Social Partners and EIGE discussed how to identify common priorities. A joint analysis made was that the crisis has reduced certain gender equality achievements and (...)

Spanish Prime Minister drops anti-abortion law and resigns

(25 September 2014) Earlier this year, the Spanish Conservative government had presented a bill to reform the abortion law, depriving women of the right to choose whether to carry on with their pregnancy. If passed this legislation would have taken women’s rights back to the 1960s and out of step to most of the European countries. This proposal have generated major opposition across Spain and Europe. EPSU adopted a resolution during its Congress in May 2014 and wrote to the Spanish (...)

Follow-Up/Outcomes WGEC 10-11 September 2014

The WGEC Committee in its meeting of 10-11 September 2014 has elected and re-confirmed the following Presidency team for the new Congress period 2014-2019: Gloria Mills, Chair, UNISON nominated by English-speaking Constituency Alexa Wolfstädter, Vice-Chair nominated by German-speaking Constituency Kalle Liivamägi, ROTAL nominated by the North-Eastern Constituency We have adopted a Work Programme for the mid-term period 2014-2016/7 which you can access here In the preamble of EPSU’s (...)

Women & Gender Equality Committee (2 days)

10 - 11 September 2014

EPSU joins call to fight for a decent maternity leave

(11 July 2014, Brussels) The proposal to strengthen maternity leave and the rights of women who have recently given birth and/or are breastfeeding, commonly referred to as the Maternity Leave or Pregnant Workers’ Directive is being withdrawn by the European Commission and Council as part of the so-call ’REFIT’ agenda. European Trade Unions, through the ETUC, together with EPSU and women’s organisations under the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) make an appeal to the European Parliament to oppose (...)

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