PES & SLD Poland Conference on Gender Equality
PES President calls for a “better Europe built from the inspiring ideas and leadership of both women and men”. The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) hosted today in Warsaw the 4th “Sejmik Kobiet Lewicy”, the Polish congress of left-wing women, which discussed pivotal issues such as the economy of inequality, education and health, female leadership and the fight against violence. The event saw the participation of Party of European Socialists (PES) President Sergei Stanishev, PES Women Vice-President Marja Bijl and Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber.
During the event, the PES President congratulated the President of Sejmik Kobiet Lewicy Association Katarzyna Piekarska and the SLD party leader Leszek Miller for their tireless work on gender issues, and expressed his full support for Presidential candidate Magdalena Ogorek.
“Reinforcing women’s rights and supporting gender equality are essential to guarantee social justice for all. We are not only talking about equality in opportunities but also about equality in power. Women’s equal participation in decision-making is a basic condition for their interests to be taken into account. We strongly need this balance to strengthen democracy and promote its proper functioning”, said Sergei Stanishev.
The PES President added: “Equality is the key to women empowerment: it constitutes the opportunity to increase rights awareness and participate in the decision making process. This is for the benefit of all citizens: we need a better Europe built from the inspiring ideas and leadership of both women and men”.
PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber underlined that; "women's participation and female resources are essential for growth and for development in a country. However, at present, when women participate in the workforce, they too often tend to get stuck in low-paying, low-status and low-security jobs. In Europe, women on the average earn 16% less then men for doing the same job – even with the same level of education. This is the reason why the PES and PES Women campaign to end the "Gender Pay Gap". The more women participate, the stronger the economy and the better the prospects for their families".
Marije Laffeber added: "In order to change we need more women in leading positions. In business as well as in politics, as CEOs, member of parliament and as presidents".
Vice President of PES Women, Marja Bijl said: "Progressives, Socialists and Democrats have always been the front runners of women's rights. We must reclaim ownership of our own fight. We owe it to the younger and the older women, and to the future we want for the next generation. We must hear their demands, their concerns, and their needs in order to carry their expectations".