Marina Barbalata, FYEG Co-Spokesperson comments: “8th of March has been celebrated for almost a century now and clear progress has been achieved since in the areal of gender equality, such as voting rights, working rights etc. However, a true example of gender equality is still non-existent in the European societies: at a EU level, women continue to get paid on average 17,4% less then men for the same jobs. Furthermore, they continue to hold less managerial positions compared to men, as in national parliaments and governments there are in general less women than men. There is therefore a contradiction between our proclaimed gender equal societies and the de facto gender gaps. This contradiction needs to be acknowledged and clear steps to address these differences by both European and national actors should be taken.”

Marc Gimenez Villahoz, FYEG Co-Spokesperson adds: “It is further hard to understand how a Europe that claims itself to be in full recognition of women’s rights, has member states that do not allow women to decide what it is best for their bodies and lives. Abortion is still illegal in several EU member states and this is a clear example of a limitation in women’s rights. Moreover, domestic violence against women is still among the major causes of female death in Europe, with in average two women a day dying after having been abused by a partner or former partner (according to the British Home Office Crime in England and Wales 2005). These are concrete cases that exemplify the necessity of feminist policies to be rigorously implemented in the European Union and of the need for affirmative actions to be taken until gender pay gaps, differences in representation in politics and domestic violence become merely stories from the past.