Topic 1 General Framework

The principle of equality and non-discrimination of workers is a fundamental right that is recognised internationally.

EU (European Union) policies, in addition to the specific ones of each EU member state, offer a framework in the defence of equal rights. Economic independence of women and gender equality have been fundamental principles of the EU policy since the Treaty of Rome (1957).

  • The European Pact for Gender Equality (2011 – 2020) “reaffirms the EU’s commitments to closing gender gaps in employment, education and social protection, promoting better work–life balance for women and men and combating all forms of violence against women”.

The main lines of action include:

  • Improve the participation of women in the labour market
  • Promote female entrepreneurship
  • Promote equal pay and reduce the pay gap
  • Break the glass ceiling
  • Improving employee work- life balance
  • Equal treatment of part-time and fixed-term workers
  • Gender balance in management positions

The Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 presents policy objectives and actions to make significant progress by 2025 towards a gender-equal Europe.

The key objectives are:

  • Ending gender-based violence
  • Challenging gender stereotypes
  • Closing gender gaps in the labour market
  • Achieving equal participation across different sectors of the economy
  • Addressing the gender pay and pension gaps
  • Closing the gender care gap and achieving gender balance in decision-making and in politics

The Strategy pursues a dual approach of gender mainstreaming combined with targeted actions, and intersectionality is a horizontal principle for its implementation.

Gender Equality Strategy Factsheet

Different international organisations have stated through agreements, treaties and conventions, different lines of action regarding equality and rights of female workers. These policies underpin the international labour standards.

If you want to expand your knowledge on the subject, we suggest reading the “ABC of women workers’ rights and gender equality”, which includes an exhaustive description of the main topics on workers’ rights.

The United Nations has worked to encourage gender equality

  • The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW, 1979), included in article 11 show the Rights that States have to guarantee for the elimination of discrimination against women in the sphere of employment
  • The most recent “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” plan in 2015 mentions equality and non-discrimination, goal 5, as an objective that will help transform our world in a sustainable way