The following statement has been published by the European Left Party
In recent years there has been a brutal increase in gender inequality in Europe and across the world, an inequality that is felt in all areas and not only is there no progress but there has been an obvious regression.
In 2017, there was an increase of such magnitude that we have gone back to the percentages of 2006, placing the global index of the gender gap at 68%. Therefore, the Party of the European Left (EL) must denounce the enormous imbalance between women and men in their political and economic participation which is not only a problem of equality, but a structural problem, in which machismo and capitalist patriarchal systems spread to all social areas.
In the European labour area, the wage gap is at 16%. Currently, the large amount of part-time work, contract instability or difficult access to the labour market for younger women are some of the biggest problems faced by female workers.
Sectors and professions are segregated. In addition, in almost all sectors, men are more often promoted to management positions. This “vertical” segregation explains a significant proportion of the wage gap between men and women, as well as the consolidation of the so-called “glass ceiling” which limits women in their labour and professional progression.
Women are still socially established as fully responsible for childcare and housework. This translates into a difficult reconciliation of work and family life for women, an area in which there is very little regulation and no visibility.
Due to the difficulties that women encounter in this regard, in many cases women are the only ones who take maternity and breastfeeding leave and frequently take advantage of the rights to reduce working hours to care for their children.
On many occasions, they decide to take jobs in sectors that allow them to balance family life and on other occasions, due to the fact that the salary remuneration they receive is lower than that of men, they decide to resign from their jobs, which usually separates them from the labour market.
As a result of these inequalities, women are again discriminated against, as the duration of the professional career has a direct effect on the gap in retirement pensions.
In the field of health and civil rights, the WHO estimates that the complications derived from unsafe abortions cause 47,000 deaths annually and represent 13% of the total maternal deaths in the world.
The right to abortion is a political issue. Denying a woman her right to abortion is limiting her human potential, and that is why this right was one of the first demands for women’s liberation. The decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is the response to a personal and private problem at a certain time. It is not a demonstration of your way of thinking or your beliefs.
For all this, as Party of the European Left, we demand in labour issues:
We demand decriminalized and free abortion without the limits ofcaseevaluations and legal deadlines, which increase the risks for the health of women due to procedures without medical control, and the social inequality regarding the free choice of motherhood, as well as sexual and reproductivehealth. We also demand the inclusion of sex education and contraception into all European education and health programs.
Finally, The EL supports all the mobilizations that are made on March the 8th: feminist strikes, demonstrations, rallies and all the events that call for equality throughout Europe and the world.
Left Unity is active in movements and campaigns across the left, working to create an alternative to the main political parties.
Events and protests from around the movement, and local Left Unity meetings.
Sat 2 Mar, 9.30-17.00
Confronting the Rise of the Far Right, European Conference
Organised by Transform UK.
Bloomsbury Central, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP.
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