As the world celebrates Women’s Day, the European Commission released a statement about the worrying incidence of global oppression that takes place globally, with particular reference to the situation in Afghanistan, Iran and Russia.
“Not only today, but every day, we stand united with all women to build momentum for their rights across the globe. We want to empower women to pursue their life goals unhindered. The growing oppression globally on women and girls and attacks on their human rights are alarming,” the statement said.
The Commission reiterated its support for women in Iran, whose freedoms are systematically restricted; and those in Afghanistan, where the Taliban are trying to erase women and girls’ presence from public space, as well as everywhere else in the world where women’s fundamental rights and freedoms are being threatened or denied.
“We are also deeply concerned about the reports that Russian Armed Forces use sexual violence against women and children in Ukraine as a weapon of war. These actions constitute war crimes and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. We will continue to work with our international partners to make Russia pay for these atrocities.”
To strengthen global accountability, the EU has just adopted a package of sanctions against perpetrators of sexual and gender-based violence.
The theme of the 2023 International Women’s Day is DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, a theme that will be further explored during today’s Pink event,which will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities .
In 2022, the EU made important breakthroughs in legislation advancing gender equality. The Commission proposed minimum EU standards to combat gender-based violence in March 2022. The proposed Directive, for the first time, addresses online violence such as non-consensual sharing of intimate images; cyber stalking; cyber harassment; and cyber incitement to violence or hatred.
As of August 2022, the new EU-wide work-life Balance rights started applying. In November 2022, the European Parliament adopted the Directive on Gender Balance on Corporate Boards, which introduces thresholds for balanced gender representation on listed company boards. In December, a political agreement was reached on Directive on Pay Transparency. The Commission published today its 2023 Report on Gender Equality in the EU, providing an update on the steps taken to deliver on the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.
Today, the Commission launches its campaign on challenging gender stereotypes, an important deliverable of the Gender Equality Strategy.