ETF & Vera Tax call on European Commission to mainstream a gender-responsive approach into EU transport policies

29 Oct 2020

On the heels of yesterday’s report on How to Make Transport Fit for Women to Work in, which revealed an alarming gender divide in the transport industry, comes a joint call by ETF and MEP Vera Tax on Commissioner Vălean and Commissioner Dalli to mainstream a gender-responsive approach into EU transport policies! A debate on Women in Transport, requested by Vera Tax herself in the framework of the first European Gender Equality Week at the European Parliament, will take place today and tackle the underlying issues that lead to an underrepresentation of women in the transport sector. The debate will take place from 13.45 to 15.45 and can be followed here.

Full joint statement below and can be downloaded at your right:

 

ETF & Vera Tax call on European Commission to mainstream a gender-responsive approach into EU transport policies

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and Member of European Parliament Vera Tax call on Commissioner Vălean and Commissioner Dalli to mainstream a gender-responsive approach into EU transport policies!

On the occasion of today’s exchange of views with the European Commission on Women in Transport in the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and Socialist and Democrats MEP Vera Tax join forces. They highlight the urgent need for substantial changes to make the transport sector genuinely fit for women transport workers, meaning fair, healthy, and violence-free workplaces as revealed to be important factors by an ETF survey of almost 3000 women transport workers.

Transport is a male-dominated sector; only 22% of the workforce are women, while the EU average female participation rate for the total workforce is 46%. Vera Tax and ETF welcome the debate on Women in Transport, requested by Vera Tax herself in the framework of the first European Gender Equality Week at the European Parliament. The discussion with Ms Elisabeth Kotthaus, Head of unit at DG Move of the European Commission, will tackle the underlying issues that lead to an underrepresentation of women in the transport sector. The debate will take place from 13.45 to 15.45 and can be followed here.

Bolstering the exchanges will be the key findings of an ETF survey of women working in transport which uncovered the five main barriers they encounter, explaining their low participation rate and why others are less than eager to join the industry:

  1. A toxic culture of masculinity and gender stereotypes.
  2. Discrimination and unequal treatment at work.
  3. Lack of work-life balance
  4. Deficiencies in provision for women’s health and safety at work, including access to decent sanitary facilities.
  5. High levels of violence and harassment against women at the workplace.

ETF conducted the survey before the outbreak of the pandemic, which is already aggravating the existing inequalities in the transport sector and threatens to reverse gender equality gains.

Determined to breach the ever-widening gender gap, Vera Tax and ETF call on the European Commission to mainstream a gender-responsive approach into EU transport policies to address the occupational segregation within the sector and eliminate all the barriers identified by the ETF survey.

The Commission’s Strategy for Smart and Sustainable Mobility roadmap overlooks women in transport. Vera Tax and ETF call on the European Commission to include the diversity of the workforce in the upcoming strategy.

Vera Tax comments:

“A clean and safe work environment is absolutely necessary to make the sector more attractive for any worker. For women specifically, there needs to be adequate access to appropriate sanitary facilities. How is a female engine driver supposed to work for hours on end without having access to a female-friendly restroom?”

Livia Spera, ETF General Secretary underlines:

“A gender-responsive approach is essential if the EU is ever to achieve a gender-equal transport industry. Now is not the time for regression, but the time to move towards a transport sector fit for women. The ETF and its members are determined to fight for this!”

MEP Vera Tax and ETF General Secretary, Livia Spera state:

“Together, we stand for a gender-equal new normal and call upon the European Commission to adopt a gender-responsive approach in transport to ensure that inequalities  and discriminations are removed.  Women transport workers are counting on it!”

 

Livia Spera

ETF General Secretary

European Transport Workers’ Federation

 

Vera Tax
Member of the European Parliament
In charge of the Gender mainstreaming Network in the Transport Committee
Member of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA)

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