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Parliamentary questions
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4 August 2020
Answer given by Ms Dalli
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002125/2020

While the employment and social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic are not yet fully known, it is evident that the impact of the crisis, including on women, is likely to be severe.

The Commission has acted quickly to provide Member States with all the flexibility of the EU budget instruments they need to support their healthcare systems, their businesses and workers, including women. New rules extending flexibilities in the use of the cohesion policy funds have been put in place (the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative (CRII) and CRII+), while the rules on gender equality and equal opportunities remain obligatory. The CRII and CRII+ also include measures to help the most deprived which includes financial support for the care sector and social services, where most workers are women.

The instrument for temporary support to mitigate unemployment risks in an emergency (SURE) will provide up to EUR 100 billion in loans for national short-time work schemes or similar measures aimed to protect employees and self-employed, including women entrepreneurs, from the risk of unemployment and support their income. The design of the national short-time work schemes and similar measures remains the prerogative of the Member States.

Striving for gender equality on the labour market to close the gender employment, pay and pension gaps remains a priority of the Commission. This is also one of the key objectives of the Gender Equality Strategy adopted on 5 March 2020, whose implementation will be based on a dual approach of targeted measures to achieve gender equality, combined with strengthened gender mainstreaming.

Furthermore, the Commission will table binding pay transparency measures by the end of 2020 in line with the strategy.

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