Between the 29th and 30th of May 2019, the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice and the National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men held , the High Level International Conference on “The Role and Status of Women in Modern Society – Between Empowerment, Leadership and Gender Discrimination”, at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest. The conference was organized in the context of Romania’s rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, under the patronage of the Romanian Prime – Minister, Ms. Viorica Dăncilă. The event brought together about 200 participants, high level representatives of both Romanian and European institutions, civil society, international organizations and business owners.
The Conference started with a welcome speech of Ms. Viorica Dăncilă, the Romanian Prime Minister and continued with speeches delivered by Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO and Ms. Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General – Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security and by Mr. Marius Budai, Minister of Labor and Social Justice.
The conference agenda included the following topics: exchange of best practices, policies and initiatives of EU member states on promoting gender equality in the economy, entrepreneurship and leadership, preventing and combating gender discrimination on the labour market, business environment and access to decision-making.
In this context, the Conference focused on promoting among EU Member States the cohesive societies, which would benefit from better education and health system, reduced inequalities between men and women, between urban and rural areas, promoting also an open society in which European citizens feel valued and be supported, and that the promotion of equality between women and men is the key to a cohesive Europe.
Based on the motto chosen by Romania for its mandate for the Presidency of the EU Council – “Social Cohesion – European Common Value”, the “Bucharest manifesto to support equal opportunities and treatment between women and men” has been launched in the margins of the High Level International Conference. This document aims to give a powerful signal for the future EU policies post 2020, which is crucial to reaffirm under the new mandate of the European Parliament and the European Commission the common commitment to promote gender equality and gender mainstreaming.
Following the Romanian commitments made during its mandate for the Presidency of the EU Council, regarding equal opportunities and treatment between women and men, the main objective of the Conference was set to increase women’s empowerment in the European Union by strengthening the role and position in both social and business environment, common value of the EU Member States and goal of modern society in terms of respect and promotion of women’s fundamental rights.
The main target is to bring together policy makers and relevant stakeholders involved in promoting gender equality and to mobilize governments of the European Union for achieving gender equality and economic independence for women in terms of sustainable economic growth by implementing European policies and long-term strategic measures both in employment and reducing the pay gap between women and men, and in terms of promoting positions of leadership and the business development.