Unió Europea i el Món

March 8, International Women's Day statement

International Women Day
International Women Day

Once again, on March 8, 2021, we will commemorate International Women’s Day, a date to pay tribute to the movements demanding women’s rights, and to call out the evident gender inequalities that persist. This call goes beyond this particular day and permeates all 365 days of the year, and through each and every one of those who make up our society.

Both Esquerra Republicana and Jovent—the Republican Youth—work daily to ensure that women’s rights are in full effect and never breached under any circumstances.

Despite the progress made, this last year has seen the brakes slammed on in many ways. Inequalities and discrimination against women are present and determining. The vulnerabilities suffered by women have deteriorated. When much of the productive sector has had to be shut down, the social services sector, care and health personnel, have been essential in dealing with this crisis. Paradoxically however, these are feminized sectors with less social and economic recognition. It has been estimated that 70% of healthcare workers are women, and that in Catalonia domestic work and unpaid care is valued at about 2,700 euros per year per woman. Therefore, the measures to be promoted must bear in mind that no one can be left behind and that they must cover the needs that arise and put an end to current inequalities. Women suffer from greater job insecurity, which therefore translates into the feminization of poverty and an attack on their personal independence.

According to the European report Gender inequalities in care and pay in the EU 2020 drafted by the European Institute for Gender Equality–EIGE, in the European Union as a whole only 20% of company management posts are held by women. This contrasts with the figures in the field of education, where women represent the majority of graduates, while instead the most important positions in all sectors continue to be held mostly by men—55 men occupy management positions compared to 32 women. In the healthcare sector, there are 47 men and only 26 women in management positions for every 1,000 workers. The glass ceiling and the sticky floor have not yet been breached and continue to limit women’s chances of accomplishing their goals.

According to the latest government report, the wage gap between men and women in the Catalan-speaking countries stands at 22% in Catalonia, while in Valencia, the Balearic Islands, and Northern Catalonia in France it stands at 22%, 13.7% and 13%, respectively. We consider that this is a fundamental issue at which we must aim political action.

Esquerra Republicana and Jovent work to promote co-responsibility between women and men. We advocate that time and work be equated with gender equity and that there be real co-responsibility between women and men in the tasks associated with reproductive work. We are committed to pursuing policies to reconcile work, personal and family life to ensure that women have the right to enjoy leisure and participation on an equal footing with men. It is also important to rethink maternity and paternity leave by opting for equal and non-transferable leave. In addition, we will continue to work to implement more rational schedules in our country to cover social and personal needs and to consolidate the time factor as a new measure of freedom, equity and welfare.

We must continue to claim our right as women to decide on our own bodies and the right to free and secure motherhood, while also ensuring that young women aged 16 and 17 can exercise this right freely.

In recent years we have been ever more concerned about the judicial, political and media treatment of rape cases that places focus back on women and not on the aggressors. We have also publicly denounced cases of sexual assault that have come to light and we will continue to work to prevent cases of harassment and/or rape, to redress victims and to punish perpetrators, as well as promoting the approval of equality plans and protocols against harassment at work.

Esquerra Republicana and Jovent’s commitment to gender equality has been reflected in an Internal Equality Plan that will help us continue to work for the full political participation of women. In addition, we have undertaken the adoption of so-called zip lists—alternating women and men equally—for the municipal elections everywhere. We have done this in almost all municipalities with more than 3,000 inhabitants where we have presented candidates. The challenge for the next municipal elections is to do the same in municipalities of 2,000 inhabitants or over. This has meant yet another step in improving the representation of women in Catalan institutions at all levels, and we must continue to do so. We are also working to implement the Equality Plan throughout the organizations, along with the Protocol for the prevention and treatment of sexual and gender-based harassment in compliance with the Effective Equality between Women and Men Act–17/2015, of 21 July, 2015. Because Equality is not only to be preached, but also exercised, with commitment, ambition and responsibility.

We call for mobilization, following safe health recommendations, in favour of women’s rights, today and on every day of the year, to continue contributing to a more just and equal society, to make the Catalan Republic a Feminist Republic of free women and men.

Women with every right!