Gender equality is one of the priorities of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs during Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Today, Federal Minister for Women, Franziska Giffey, signed the joint Trio Presidency Declaration on Gender Equality together with her Portuguese counterpart, Mariana Vieira da Silva, and her Slovenian colleague, Janez Cigler Kralj. In this declaration, the three EU member states undertake to cooperate closely on gender equality. Among other things, the three EU countries are working to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women. The Trio aims to expand the Europe-wide support system for women affected by violence. They are also working to reduce the gender pay gap in Europe and to transform gender stereotypes and roles.

The joint declaration will guide the work of the Trio in the field of gender equality in 2020/2021. It is also an important point of reference for other EU member states, the EU institutions and for following trio presidencies. It covers, among other things, the respective priority areas of the three countries. For Germany, the Presidency’s priorities are gender equality on the labour market and the protection of women against violence. Federal Minister for Women, Franziska Giffey, said:

In times in which joint action on gender equality issues has become increasingly difficult at EU level, the signing of the declaration sends an important message: we – Germany, Portugal and Slovenia – are pulling in the same direction to improve the lives of women and also men in concrete terms. That is why we are focusing on promoting high standards for the protection of women against violence throughout Europe. We want to improve access to protection and advice for everyone. This includes, for example, our goal of creating a European helpline for women affected by violence, as we already have in Germany with the 24/7 helpline “Violence against Women”, which can be reached by calling 08000 116 016.

We want to exchange information on the experiences in combating violence which were made by each country in general and during the COVID-19 pandemic and which in many cases were addressed through rapid response services. In terms of gender equality on the labour market, the pandemic has clearly shown that unpaid housework, childcare and nursing care is mainly carried out by women. With our trio partners, we therefore want to reduce the gender pay gap in Europe and discuss measures for a gender-equal division of paid work and unpaid family care work.

Due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministers were unable to meet in person. For this reason, the signing took place during a video conference. The declaration was drafted under the leadership of Germany and includes the priorities of the three countries as well as a list of planned events. One of the events is the Informal Meeting of EU Gender Equality Ministers, which is scheduled to take place in Potsdam in November and will be hosted by Federal Minister for Women, Franziska Giffey.

The declaration of the Trio presidency can be found at the link below.