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8 Aprilie 2019
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Debates on 11 April will focus on elaborating a strategy to ensure gender equality.

Bucharest: Informal Meeting EU Ministers for Employment and Social Policies



EU Ministers for Employment and Social Policies have scheduled an informal meeting at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest on 10-11 April. Event takes place under Romania’s EU Council Presidency.

Meeting  - to be chaired by Romanian Minister of Labour and Social Justice, Marius Constantin Budăi – will be attended by European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility Marianne Thyssen, Regional Manager for Europe and Central Asia of the International Labour Organization, Heinz Koller, Executive Director of European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality, Virginia Langbakk, State Secretary of the National Agency for Equal Opportunities, Aurelia-Grațiela Drăghici, officials from European agencies.

Talks on 10 April will be related to women’s participation in the labour market and management, pay gap between women and men, and integration of women with disabilities into the labour market.

Debates on 11 April will focus on elaborating a strategy to ensure gender equality as well as to integrate gender perspectives into the social dimension of the EU after 2020.

Boosting women’s labour market participation

Romanian EU Council Presidency will pursue strengthening of cooperation between EU Member States and exchange of best practices on strengthening women’s economic independence and participation in the labour market. There will be a presentation on women’s economic independence and a debate on encouraging and supporting women in atypical work. 

Discussions in Bucharest will address the issue of gender pay gap and situation of women with disabilities.

European Union and its Member States have a strong mandate to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities and the legislation in this area covers specific aspects of their lives. European Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities comprises clear commitments to ensure an increased attention to the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, including women with disabilities.

At EU level, about 27.5% of women aged over 16 state they have an activity limitation, compared to 23.0% of men of the same age group. EU legislation provides protection against gender discrimination as well as discrimination based on disability criteria with regard to employment.

Among the 20 principles contained in the European Pillar of Social Rights, some are particularly important to gender equality and women with disabilities: equal opportunities for women and men on the labour market, including the right to equal pay; equal treatment regarding social protection, education and access to goods and services.

Nevertheless, persistent cultural, social, legal, physical and institutional barriers pose restrictions to full inclusion of women with disabilities in society in all aspects of private and public life, including education and employment. For women with disabilities, low rates of access to education, technical and vocational training programmes, as well as lack of opportunities to access the labour market, result in a lack of skills and professional qualifications. In addition, the stigma and discrimination that women with disabilities are facing, as well as inaccessible work environments, are restrictions to their involvement in the labour market that lead to less safe working conditions.

This can also be observed in EU statistics. According to these, in 2016, persons with disabilities in the EU were more likely to face in-work poverty than the general population. In terms of gender, employment rate of women with disabilities (45.9%) was slightly lower than that of men with disabilities (50.6%). Looking at the overall quality of life perceived by people with disabilities, Eurofound finds that the extent to which they feel left out varies considerably, depending on whether they are employed or not. Those who have a job report far less often feeling left out of society than long-term unemployed respondents or those who are unable to work because of their disability.

Therefore, although several initiatives have been put forward to promote the rights of women with disabilities, the corresponding policies are limited. Global action must be translated to the national level by strengthening public policies for women with disabilities. For them, it is essential that gender inequality be significantly reduced in all aspects of public and private life. 


Etichete Preşedinţia României la Consiliul UE,

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