The Wilfried Martens Center held a conference on work-life balance in Brussels
At the conference, Mikulas Dzurinda, President of the Wilfried Martens Center, drew attention to the negative impact of gender inequality on the economy and society. The keynote speaker, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, stressed that the issue of work-life balance and equality between women and men will be decisive factors in the upcoming EP elections.
Digitization poses new challenges to men in Europe and, more so, women. Women are still far too underrepresented in the so-called ICT sector and STEM scientific careers. In order to fully develop the abilities that exist in women, there is a need for broad social interaction by involving families, teachers, employers, the media, and so on. Mairead McGuinness, Irish MEP, highlighted the importance of role models, emphasizing the need for politicians to act as one. Polish MEP Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz commented on the forthcoming work-family directive that this is not just a "female matter" and that about equal participation of men and women should not only be about talked regarding paid work, but also regarding invisible work. As a thought-provoking data, she mentioned that while the employment rate of women raising small children is lower than that of childless women, this is the opposite for men, and there are more men working who are raising children than childless ones.
On the margins of the conference, Balázs Molnár, deputy head of KINCS and Kinga Joó senior associate, have briefly presented the work of KINCS and held a discussion on mapping the possible ways of cooperation with Mikulas Dzurinda, President of Martens Center, former Slovak Prime Minister; Tomi Huhtanen, Executive Director of the Martens Center; Doris Pack, President of the EPP Women; Ildikó Szenci-Voller, Head of Office of the Antall József Knowledge Center in Brussels and Nicola Speranza, Secretary General of the Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe (FAFCE).