Delegates at EPSU’s Women’s Conference endorsed a declaration outlining their resolute commitment to stand up for women’s rights and gender equality.
(24 November 2023) At the EPSU Women’s and Gender Equality Conference on November 24, 2023, we come together to underscore our steadfast commitment to advocate for women’s rights and gender equality.
Not only will we fight to advance our rights, but we condemn the worrying increase in attacks on fundamental rights and freedoms, particularly women’s sexual and reproductive rights and against the goal of full gender equality.
The rights of many are under attack. It is crucial to fight against all forms of racism and discrimination, including harassment and violence directed against refugees, migrant workers, Roma and LGBT+ people, and all populations stigmatised because of their sexual orientation; gender identity; disability; ethnic or racial origin; or real or supposed religion.
We will keep pushing for legal frameworks guaranteeing sexual and reproductive rights, including the right to free, safe and legal abortion. We will continue to foster solidarity among EPSU members, especially in defence of democracy and of women’s rights, LGBT+ rights and trade union rights.
Privatisation and cuts to public services hit women harder, widening inequalities between men and women. Therefore, we call for greater efforts to tackle poverty, considering the disproportionate impact poverty has on women, children and persons in vulnerable situations. We call for action to address the growing number of working poor and to reverse the commercialisation of care.
We commit to continue to develop strong actions to close the gender pay and pension gap; to press for the implementation of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value; and to address any other form of discriminatory pay, inter alia linked to age; ethnicity; origin; nationality; gender identity; disability; sexual orientation; religion; or location.
We have deliberately chosen this date for our conference to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Gender-based violence remains a plague that afflicts far too many. We do not plan to stand still, but to act and stand up for our rights. In this historical moment, we underscore the disproportionate suffering endured by women amid the brutality of wars, where violence is inflicted upon their very bodies. We reaffirm our opposition to any use of armed conflict as a means to resolve political divisions between states.
We will continue working to ensure that European governments ratify and fully implement the Istanbul Convention, ILO Convention 190, and the accompanying Recommendation 206. We commit to implementing the Madrid Declaration adopted in 2022 on the role of sectoral social dialogue in preventing third-party violence and harassment at work against public services workers, including domestic violence. The growth in cyber, digital, online violence targeted at women is a threat to women’s equality and fundamental rights. Sexual violence and harassment against women has been weaponised to drive women out of participation in public spaces and political sphere.
Our actions will continue to be mainstreamed across EPSU sectors and we will work to strengthen social dialogue and collective bargaining at national and EU levels, including by revising the EU social partners framework agreement on harassment and violence at work (2007) with a view to update it and give it legal weight. We emphasise the importance of training and support for bargaining equality, with active participation from women negotiators. Women, like men, must be free to live their lives as they wish, wherever they live. EPSU stands in solidarity with those fighting for freedom, amplifying their voices to ensure their struggle is never futile and to assure them they are not alone.
Rome, 24 November 2023