The ETUC is committed to achieving equality between women and men. Women make up more than 50% of Europe’s population and around 45% of trade union members. The ETUC works to promote women’s rights and equality between women and men in the labour market and society in general.
ETUC priorities are outlined in the Vienna Action Programme (2019-2023) and include ensuring that digitalisation and new forms of work are gender sensitive and do not disadvantage female workers; achieving equal pay and economic independence for women; full implementation of the work-life balance directive; ending gender-based violence and harassment; empowerment of vulnerable women including older, migrant and refugee women and those with disabilities; and the mainstreaming of gender equality across all policy areas in the EU. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women and worsened existing inequalities. The ETUC is pressing for all recovery programmes to redress these injustices and give high priority to improving women's rights and working conditions.
The annual 8th March Survey monitors the gender balance in trade union decision-making bodies. The ETUC is lobbying for equality in decision-making and progress on the directive addressing gender imbalances on company boards. It has produced a Toolkit for Gender Equality, with the EU-level employers. The ETUC takes part in the EU’s Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities; the European Institute for Gender Equality Experts’ Forum; and the European Women’s Lobby.