MEPs, their national counterparts and women professionals appealed on Thursday for a stronger gender dimension in all policy-making in response to the economic crisis which, they agreed, hits women harder than men.
"The economic crisis has affected women more than men but the crisis is also the opportunity to change the current situation," said Gianni Pittella, EP Vice-President, who opened the discussion between the women's rights committee and its guests from the national parliaments.
The meeting, held to mark International Women's Day, focused on how to strengthen women's social and economic rights in the crisis. Speakers agreed that women, especially women with children, suffer more than men in times of austerity. They called for investment in life-long learning, better education, female entrepreneurship schemes and opportunities for tele-working.
"If we invest in women, we need to let them go and follow their ambitions," concluded French MEP Morin-Chartier (EPP), author of the resolution on the impact of the crisis on gender equality and women's rights which will be voted by the full House on 12 March.
In the chair: Mikael Gustafsson (EUL/NGL, SE)