Female poverty is a reality that must be addressed
Today in Europe, there are 122 million people at risk of poverty. Poverty affects more women - 65 million - than men. The majority of these women are single mothers finding it very hard to make ends meet.
On a proposal by Belgian socialist Euro MP Marie Arena, the European Parliament today gave its green light to set out recommendations in order to tackle female poverty.
S&D Group spokesperson on women’s rights and gender equality, Marie Arena, said:
"Women are the first victims of austerity policies and the economic crisis, passing on the poverty cycle to the next generations and their children. Stereotypes, pay and pension gaps between men and women, and a lack of high-quality public services, are just some of the deep roots and causes of the fall of women into poverty and social exclusion.
"The report details many initiatives that can be taken to improve the situation. It goes from the use of EU funds to invest in social infrastructures such as child care and care for dependents; measures to improve work/life balance for men and women, to an EU Child Guarantee that guarantees access to free healthcare, education and decent housing for every child in the EU.
"It is crucial to encourage women to enter and stay in the labour market, which can ensure their financial independence and break the vicious circle of poverty.
"The European Commission and the member states cannot remain blind to the situation of millions of women and children in Europe.
"The S&D deplores the attitude of the Conservatives from the EPP and ECR, who openly voted against important recommendations; among others the issue of ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ and the reduced VAT on essential goods for women."