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Start Prezydencja Polski w Radzie UE - 2011 Mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles for women and men as a chance to actively participate in the labour market
Mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles for women and men as a chance to actively participate in the labour market PDF Drukuj Email

On 20-21 October 2011 in Cracow an Expert Conference on Mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles for women and men as a chance to actively participate in the labour market was held. The conference was organised under the Polish Presidency. It was attended by representatives of ministries competent for family, gender equality and employment from all European Union Member States, EFTA countries and the EU candidate countries, as well as experts from e.g.: European Commission network of experts on gender equality and labour market, European Institute for Gender Equality, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, European NGOs and social partners. The event accompanied the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Family and Gender Equality during which ministers and the Vice-President of the EU, Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship – Viviane Reding, discussed the most favourable mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles, especially in the context of the amended proposal for the maternity directive, as well as the demographic challenges and the current economic crisis.

The Expert conference acted as a forum for determining the best policies and initiatives aimed at ensuring gender equality on the labour market by the governments and the social partners. The panel speakers discussed the most favourable mechanisms for reconciling professional and family roles, especially in the context of the demographic challenges and the current economic crisis.

During the meeting questions were asked and answers were given on how to manage work and family life to actively participate in the labour market. When opening the conference Minister of Labour and Social Policy – Jolanta Fedak, draw attention to the complexity of the process of implementing the policy for reconciling professional and family roles and the need to consider the issue in the context of increased competitiveness and social cohesion. She also pointed to the fact that the results of research conducted over the last decade confirm the positive impact of gender equality on economic growth.

Virginia Langbakk, Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) argued that it is not enough to introduce mechanisms facilitating reconciliation of professional and family roles. She pointed out the need to work with young people, fight the stereotypes and take actions to change the traditional division of roles of between women and men.

Jolanta Reingarde, EIGE’s Senior Researcher, who presented the Report developed for the Polish Presidency entitled: "Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the area F: Women and the Economy, Reconciliation of Work and Family Life as a Condition of Equal Participation in the Labour Market", stated that there is a clear link between taking care of children and employment of women, moreover in the majority of the EU Member States the women employment indicator decreases along with the increase in the number of children. Report of the European Institute for Gender Equality states that in all 27 EU Member States women still remain the main carers for both children, and dependent elderly persons. The data show that the number of men using the parental leave still constitutes only a slight fraction of the number of women deciding to use such a leave.

Report of the European Institute for Gender Equality entitled: "Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the area F: Women and the Economy, Reconciliation of Work and Family Life as a Condition of Equal Participation in the Labour Market" can be downloaded here: Polish version , English version.

The participants of the conference reviewed good practices within the scope of promoting equal opportunities for women and men in family and professional life.

The individual sessions of the discussion covered, for example, the following issues:

  1. How the role of gender equality and inclusion of the policies on reconciling work and family life can contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Europe 2020 Strategy?
  2. When the Barcelona targets within the scope of childcare will be achieved?
  3. Taking care of the dependent people: greater need to deal with the problem of the aging society.
  4. Policies on reconciling work and family roles, as a tool also for men.

A detailed agenda of the conference can be downloaded here

Speeches and presentations of the speakers –in the original language version – can be downloaded below:

Daniela Bankier, Head of Unit for Gender Equality, Directorate General for Justice, European Commission

Reconciliation policies: a contribution to the EU goals of gender equality and smart, sustainable and innovative growth.Download: PDF 52.35 Kb

Mikael Gustafsson, Chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality of the European Parliament

Increasing the choices of leaves to meet the needs of working women and men – are current legislative solutions enough to reconcile work and family?Download: PDF 90.14 Kb

Jolanta Reingarde, Senior Researcher, EIGE

Presentation of the report on the follow-up of the Beijing Platform for Action: “Women and the economy: Reconciliation of Work and Family Life as a Precondition of Equal Participation in the Labour Market”Download: PowerPoint 720.49 Kb

Janina Szumlicz, Deputy Director, Department for Family Policy, Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy

The care system in a national context: the day care law in Poland. Download: PowerPoint 612.00 Kb

Charles de Vries, Senior policymaker, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, The Netherlands

Flexible working arrangements: a tool only for women? Download: PowerPoint 2.27 Mb

Sara Slana, Senior adviser, Office for Equal Opportunities, Slovenia

Maintaining the national childcare system in a time of restructuring.Download: PDF 65.80 Kb, PowerPoint 939.00 Kb

Dr Ewa Rumińska-Zimny, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland

Care: between work and welfare in European societies. Download: PDF 969.69 Kb

Liesbet de Letter, Directorate General for Regional Policies, European Commission

Increasing the childcare supply and meeting the Barcelona targets: the contribution of the European Structural Funds. Download: PowerPoint 305.00 Kb

Raphael Crowe, Gender Equality Unit, ILO

Workplace solutions for childcare. Download: PDF 189.20 Kb

Christer Tofténius, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education and Research, Sweden

How to meet the Barcelona targets – the Swedish example. Download: PDF 70.98 Kb, PowerPoint 624.50 Kb

Roberta Ceccaroni, Senior Adviser, Department for Family Policy, Italy

Increasing the childcare supply: the Italian example. Download: PDF 1.12 Mb

Halina Potocka, Vice President of the AGE Platform

The institutionalized supply of care for other dependants.

Marie Beatrice Levaux, President, FEPEM

Taking care of the elderly – a new profession? Download: PDF 229.74 Kb

Heidi Lougheed, Chair of Equal Opportunities Network,BUSINESSEUROPE

Karin Enodd, Vice President, ETUC, Download: PDF 52.43 Kb

Jeanette Grenfors, General Rapporteur of Social Affairs Committee, CEEP, Download: PDF 76.20 Kb

Jan Dannenbring, Head of Unit Labour Market, UEAPME

The reconciliation of work and family life from the point of view of the German Skilled Crafts. Download: PDF 81.33 Kb

Maija Lyly-Yrjänäinen, Research Officer, Eurofound

Jak europejskie kobiety i mężczyźni wykorzystują czas: efekt Kopciuszka. Download: PowerPoint 480.00 Kb

Klaus Schwerma, Dissens Institute, Germany

Reconciliation policy – new tool for men! Download: PDF 193.97 Kb, PowerPoint 564.50 Kb

Alexandra Jachanová-Doleželová, Vice President of the European Women’s Lobby

How do European women and men reconcile work and family life? Download: PDF 557.09 Kb

Paola Panzeri, Policy Officer, Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union (COFACE)

Equal parenthood – a new role model? Download: PowerPoint 646.50 Kb

Aurel Ciobanu-Dordea, Director for Equality, Directorate General for Justice, European Commission, Download: PDF 45.75 Kb