8 March is International Women’s Day. This year, the overarching topic of the UN Women’s campaign is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”, aiming at raising awareness for the special situation of women in the labour market in times of globalisation and increasing digitalisation.

At current pace, the gender pay gap within the EU will persist for another 70 years. The Gender Equality Index shows that during the past years, there have been improvements with regard to gender equality in the EU. However, the EU is still far from its Europe 2020 targets. The European Parliament recently reaffirmed the need to make gender equality a priority in European politics after it has been downgraded as a priority due to the crisis (more information).

To narrow and ultimately to eliminate the pay gap between women and men is a key theme of the Campaign “Europe needs a pay rise – it’s time for our recovery” recently launched by the ETUC. On 7 March 2016, ETUC is organising a panel discussion focusing on “How can a pay rise make a dent into the persistent gender pay and pensions gaps?” inviting amongst others, representatives from the ETUCE Standing Committee for Equality.

ETUCE European Director, Susan Flocken, states ”education promotes equality and therefore plays a crucial role for achieving gender parity in societies and in overcoming gender segregation in the labour market ”, adding as a concrete example that “the use of ICT in class rooms should be implemented in a way that helps overcome the gender stereotypical use of ICT”.

ETUCE supports education trade unions at national level across Europe in their efforts to tackle gender inequality. Promoting gender equality and non-discrimination in the education sector is one of ETUCE’s and its member organisations’ main priorities, as schools should be safe and non-discriminatory environments for both, teachers and students, to allow for quality education, hence, advocating gender equality is deeply rooted in ETUCE’s work programme 2017-2020.

ETUCE has adopted several documents on gender equality, for instance a  Policy paper on the 21st Century Teaching Profession and the Use of ICT, calling for non-discriminatory access to ICT and overcoming the stereotypical use of ICT.