We call for action on the following three priorities across the EU institutions and EU Member States:
1. No decisions taken without women
Ensure equal leadership in decision-making
Make gender equality – including all women regardless of race, religion and ethnicity - for economic growth a political priority for the 2019 leadership;
• Set gender parity targets for senior leadership positions in European Institutions, national governments and publicly listed corporations, and report annually on progress (transparent data-tracking);
• Ensure female candidates for every top EU and government position, including for Presidential positions, Committee chairs and Political Groups. Recruit on merit, and with a gender diverse and unbiased interviewer panel;
• Promote the ‘SheforWe’ campaign not only outside the European Union but apply the campaign to the EU itself and fully implement the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality in EU policies and initiatives
2. Enact equal economic empowerment policies
• Promote a policy environment that is supportive of work-life balance for men and women, including the recognition and redistribution of care responsibilities;
• Implement equal compensation for equal work;
• Build future-proof skills to enhance (women’s) access to the labour market, particularly in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM).
3. Promote financial inclusion and funding
Ensure access to finance and advisory services for female entrepreneurs;
• Set an ambitious goal for gender mainstreaming across all EU programmes, agree a target of EU expenditure contributing to gender action and use EU funds more pro-actively to achieve gender equality in the next Multiannual Financial Framework;
• Set procurement targets for sourcing from gender-balanced enterprises and enterprises with a robust gender action plan against which they report.
We therefore request, that the European Institutions and European Governments publish, track and update a detailed blue-print on how to achieve the above-mentioned priorities on an annual basis. They must cover both EU and national policy levels and set targets to be implemented by 2025. The new European Parliament, European Commission and Council President should be vetted upon their commitment to this Gender-proof Growth agenda.
Making Gender-proof Growth a political priority will deliver more inclusive and sustainable economic growth, set a positive EU agenda, and boost EU values.
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