(Source: European Commission)
“Check against delivery”
Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
Yesterday, on International Women’s Day, we celebrated women’s achievements and the progress towards gender equality in the European Union.
As we are on the path to a green, digital and resilient recovery, let us not forget that women were at the forefront of our response to the pandemic.
They created vaccines and pioneered treatments, cared for patients and students, and bore an uneven share of the burden during home schooling and lockdowns.
The EU’s Gender Equality Strategy focuses on removing barriers to equality. It seeks to bridge existing gaps so that young women and men can take part in and lead our European society on an equal footing.
Monitoring its progress is essential, and that is why I am glad to welcome you today at the launch event of the Gender Equality Strategy Monitoring Portal.
The Portal has the potential to assist us in seeing the big picture and tracking progress toward gender equality in all Member States.
It can help us identify and share best practices and direct us to the next steps.
I invite you to spend some time exploring the Portal – there is a lot of valuable information there.
You will notice the overall picture is improving in some areas, such as the gender gap in employment, which shrank from 16% in 2005 to 11% in 2020.
The share of women among board members of research funding organisations grew from 37% in 2017 to 40% in 2021.
Nonetheless, you will also see that progress is not happening quickly enough in all areas.
According to the Portal’s data, only one out of every five ICT professionals is a woman.
The proportion of women graduating from ICT programs has risen too slowly, from 18% in 2014 to only 20% in 2019.
To be successful in the digital transition, we must rely more on women’s skills and talents.
Building more gender-equal societies is not a nice-to-have. It is a must if we are to live in happier, healthier, prosperous, and fairer Europe.
I encourage all of you, policymakers, researchers, business leaders, and citizens to use the Portal and see the path ahead of us to create a Europe where all girls and women of all ages can thrive.
I wish you a fruitful discussion.
Thank you very much.