An online petition has been launched calling on the EU to ensure that half its COVID-19 recovery fund goes to women.
Created by Green’s Party MEP Alexandra Geese, the petition #halfofit urges the European Commission and Council to make sure that half its €500 billion EU reconstruction fund is dedicated to women’s jobs, the advancement of women’s rights and equality between men and women.
“The Coronavirus crisis is turning into an enormous crisis for women’s income, life-long earnings, pensions, overall participation and power in society. Now is the time to turn this moment into an opportunity for the advancement of gender equality,” the petition read.
Geese said women are losing their jobs faster than men, with many working in the “client-facing sectors” like tourism, retail trade, hotels – sectors hit worst by the pandemic. Moreover, with women more likely to take on the majority of unpaid work arising from close schools and childcare facilities, their ability to be involved in the public debate is at risk.
The petition has gathered 954 signatories including activists, academics and women from the private and public sphere. It aims to get 2,000 before to be presented before the economic stimulus package is announced next week.
The petition calls for:
- Gender impact assessments for EU recovery funds
- More investment in the care economy, including better childcare services and schools and a Care Deal for Europe
- Dedicated fund for women-led businesses
- A new calculation of GDP to include “gender-disaggregated statistics” of unpaid and paid work
- Obligations for companies aid from the Recovery and Resilience Instrument to document that these funds will equally benefit employees of all genders
You can find the petition here.