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High-Level Seminar on Gender Equality in the Labour Market: the Role of Equality Bodies

May 13th 2013

This High Level Seminar was held on 27 June 2013 in Brussels and is the first event dedicated to gender equality organised by Equinet following the incorporation of the work of the former European Commission led Network of Gender Equality Bodies.

Summary of the seminar

The Equinet Secretariat has prepared a short summary of the seminar that you are encouraged to read alongside the individual presentations available below.

Agenda and Contributions (available for download)

The seminar was opened by Prof. Francesca Bettio, coordinator of the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality, with an address on The Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Situation of Women and Men and on Gender Equality Policies (747KB).

This was followed by three sessions on:

- European Union institutions and equality bodies with contributions from:

  • Andreas Stein (Head of Unit, Equal Treatment Legislation, European Commission DG Justice) on Current legal and policy developments on gender equality;
  • Mikael Gustafsson (Chair of the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee) on The European Parliament current work and key priorities on gender equality and the role for equality bodies;
  • Thérèse Murphy (Head of Operations, European Institute for Gender Equality) on Equality bodies and the advancement of gender equality: an EIGE perspective (1.3MB);
  • Sandra Ribeiro (President of the Portuguese Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment and Moderator of Equinet’s Gender Equality Working Group) on The work of equality bodies on gender equality (186 KB).

- Gender equality in the workplace, with contributions from:

- Panel debate on the role of equality bodies in tackling the gender pay gap and implementing the provisions on equal pay for work of equal value, with representatives from the European Commission, social partners and equality bodies.

More information can be found in the agenda below:

2013 Gender Equality Seminar Agenda
2013 Gender Equality Seminar Agenda



The seminar aimed at sharing with EU level stakeholders experiences and expertise coming from equality bodies’ work on the promotion of gender equality, in particular relating to the implementation of EU legislation and policies in the field.

It also aimed at providing equality bodies with an overview and a platform for dialogue on EU developments concerning the fight against gender inequalities.

The seminar:

- Allowed an exchange between equality bodies, EU institutions and stakeholders on how to best cooperate for the promotion of gender equality and effectively tackle gender inequalities;

- Presented equality bodies’ experiences in the implementation of EU policies and legislation in the framework of gender equality in the labour market;

- Provided a platform for discussion on key priorities, best practices and possible future developments at EU and national level;

- Positioned Equinet and national equality bodies’ work in the field of gender equality at EU level.

Target audience

The seminar was attended by senior management and experts of national equality bodies, representatives of EU institutions and agencies, other international organisations, national and European NGOs, academic and legal experts, social partners and other institutions active in the field of gender equality.

Practical details

Claiming expenses
Travel and subsistence costs are covered for Equinet member-organisations. Reimbursements are only possible when an original Equinet reimbursement form is correctly filled in and sent by regular mail to the Equinet Secretariat (for any question, please contact Yannick Godin at or +32 2 212 3182).

Click here to download the Equinet reimbursement form.

Useful readings

- Directive 2006/54/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast);

- Directive 2010/18/EU implementing the revised Framework Agreement on parental leave concluded by BUSINESSEUROPE, UEAPME, CEEP and ETUC and repealing Directive 96/34/EC;

- Directive 2010/41/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity and repealing Council Directive 86/613/EEC;

- Directive 92/85/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding;

- Proposal for a DIRECTIVE on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures (EC);

- Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 92/85/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding: Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 20 October 2010 and the Proposal of the European Commission;

- BETTIO, F.; CORSI, M.; LYBERAKI, A.; SAMEK LODOVICI, M.; VERASHCHAGINA, A. (2012). "The Impact of the economic Crisis on the Situation of Women and Men and on Gender Equality Policies";

- Two thematic reports of the European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality: Fighting Discrimination on the Grounds of Pregnancy, Maternity and Parenthood. The application of EU and national law in practice in 33 European countries and Harassment related to Sex and Sexual Harassment Law in 33 European Countries. Discrimination versus Dignity;

- European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality Reports and the European Gender Equality Law Review;

- EC Report on Progress on equality between women and men in 2012;

- Strategy for equality between women and men;

- Equinet Annual Report 2012;

- Equinet Perspective on Equality Bodies - Current Challenges (2012);

- Equinet Perspective on New Directions for Equality between Women and Men (2009);

- Equinet Equality Law in Practice Report: Comparative analysis of discrimination cases in Europe (2012);

- Equinet Equality Law in Practice Report - A Question of Faith: Religion and Belief in Europe (2011);

- Equinet Perspective on Making equality legislation work for Trans people (2010);

- Between Impartiality and Responsiveness: Equality Bodies and Practices of Independence (Equinet report, 2009);

- Influencing the law through legal proceedings - The powers and practices of equality bodies (Equinet report, 2010);

- Equinet Good Practice Guide on Promoting Equality in the Workplace (2011);

- Equinet report on Providing Independent Assistance to Victims of Discrimination (2011).