European gender equality strategy and binding pay transparency measures – Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission’s initiatives

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Series Details PE 659.365
Publication Date November 2020
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EPRS analysis of the positions of partner organisations at European, national, regional and local levels suggests that they would like the following main considerations to be reflected in discussion of gender equality and the forthcoming Commission proposal on binding pay transparency measures:

  • Input obtained from all levels of governance indicates that both gender equality and pay transparency measures require an effective combination of long- and short-term measures and legislative and non-legislative initiatives. There is a need expressed by the EU level for EU legislation covering certain aspects of violence against women. If the EU's accession to the Istanbul Convention remains blocked, an EU initiative could aim to achieve convention's main objectives. According to the European Parliament, an EU legislative initiative should also address cross-border aspects, including human trafficking and cyber-violence. Local, regional and national governmental organisations show good practice in non-legislative measures, such as helplines, counselling services and shelters for women.
  • When it comes to gender equality at work, a long-term perspective focused on changing harmful gender stereotypes could usefully be combined with short-term measures to ensure a good work-life balance, according to obtained input. Governmental organisations at local and regional levels show good practice in both of these areas. When it comes to binding pay transparency measures, there is broad support for an EU initiative from national governmental organisations.
  • All levels of government are in agreement on the importance of gender mainstreaming, for example in the budgetary processes, in order to take account of the different needs of men and women. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has produced a useful toolkit for applying gender perspective to EU funds.
  • There are also calls from various parts of the EU system of multi-level governance to improve the availability of gender-disaggregated data in the EU.

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This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multi-level governance.

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