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International Women’s day 2024

by efn efn

8 March – On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the EFN wants to express its gratitude to all the women/nurses who every day carry out their job with tireless dedication and professionalism.

In times of multiple crisis, with nurses/women leaving massively the profession post-COVID-19, it is crucial to ensure women’s rights across all aspects of life, and to put pressure at EU, national & local levels so that they have equal opportunities in education, in the labour market, as well as in political and economic decision-making.

We are at a pivotal moment in history. It is crucial that the European Union shows strong leadership when it comes to gender equality, gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming”, said Robert BIEDROŃ (S&D, Poland) Chair of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee

Many EU Member States are introducing reforms of the health and social sector designed to improve the relevance, sustainability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the current ‘silo system’, which is not sensitive enough towards gender. From a nursing perspective, consisting of 92% of women, it is crucial that nurses/women have a stronger voice in the design of health and social policies. This will allow to build a resilient health and social ecosystem. And nurses/women are ideally positioned to both lead and support such developments. As the largest healthcare profession, nurses/women are a powerhouse for change.

Also of key concern for nurses/women is the violence and harassment, being a daily reality across the EU. A recent WHO study showed that globally 1 in 3 women experience violence, and that younger women are among those most at risk. Over the years, changes tool place at EU level, through legislation, case-law and changes to the Treaties. But a lot still needs to be done. Therefore, it is time to act! Nurses/women need to be protected from any kinds of gender related violence and discrimination.

The Lisbon Reform Treaty considers gender equality among its key values and objectives, but to date, health and social care reform has been largely blind to its impact! It is, therefore, time to take real actions to make the difference! The new European Commission & European Parliament, as well as the EU policymakers and politicians have here a golden opportunity to make the difference and to put in place reforms that are really fit-for-purpose and have a real impact for women/nurses.