March 9, 2017 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara
Despite stating that 2017 has witnessed women representation moving to 55% of the total workforce, the European Union on Tuesday 7, March said in a statement marking the commemoration of International Women’s Day (IWD) that ‘attacks on women’s rights are on the increase.’
According to a press statement from EU, the rate of women’s employment in the Union reached an all-time high of 65.5% in 2016 but that there was still a big difference with the 77% rate of men.
“In 2017, there are more women in work, more women graduating from universities, and more women active in politics or in top positions at European companies than ever before. Within the Commission, women represent 55% of the total workforce. And yet, too many women, especially single mothers, are still struggling to reach economic independence in the European Union. The rate of women’s employment in the European Union reached an all-time high of 65.5% in 2016 and yet there is still a big difference with the 77% rate of men,” the release stated.
The release raised serious anxiety on the status of women still being the most vulnerable, in conflicts, in situations of migration and displacement, and where poverty and climate change hit the hardest.
The release noted that there was an exponential growth in the numbers of female victims of trafficking arriving in the EU in the current migration context.
“Intolerance against women and misogyny manifest themselves in the public sphere as well as behind the cowardly anonymity of the Internet. Attacks on women’s rights are on the rise.”
The release added that many Europeans were still with the opinion that sexual intercourse without consent can be justifiable and that Women were also on the frontline of discrimination and violence, especially in conflict areas around the world.
According to the release, women were often the first to seek solutions, and to look for resilience in times of challenge and those with a vision for the future of their countries.
“The EU continues to engage with women’s groups throughout the world, including in the most challenging circumstances, like Afghanistan or Syria. We will stand by women in Europe and around the globe today, as it did at the time of our foundation.”
The release continues that the EU would push their fight for gender equality, and keep women and girls safe, and to empower them in order to fully realise their potentials.
The EU however stated that strategic engagement for Gender Equality in the European Commission to tackle inequalities in work, pay, decision making and that the Commission has dedicated 2017 to eradicating all forms of violence against women.
The EU said their proposed reform of the Common European Asylum System, migrant women coming to Europe to seek protection and who have experienced harm will be provided with medical care, legal support, trauma counselling and psycho-social care.