Monthly Forum: Gender policies and the austerity crisis
ITUH, Bd du Roi Albert II, 5; 1210 Brussels, room B 12.30-14.00h

The current global economic crisis has had profound consequences for gender equality in the labour market and welfare systems of advanced economies. The impact of recession has been inflated by the austerity measures and fiscal consolidation packages. On the one hand, a growing pool of unemployed, increased labour market competition and tighter business conditions negatively affect female employment. This enacts, for instance, through increased sex discrimination, or fewer efforts by employers to implement equality and diversity policy as a means of recruiting and retaining staff.

On the other hand, austerity policies represent an additional challenge for gender equality as cuts in social expenditure and welfare state reforms have different implications for women and men. Austerity measures undermine female-dominated public sector employment and social transfers and services, which have been crucial for women’s economic integration and access to good quality jobs.

This January Monthly Forum will discuss findings from a recently published book entitled ‘Women and Austerity: the economic crisis and the future for gender equality’, edited by Maria Karamessini and Jill Rubery. The book advances understanding of women's vulnerability to recession and the policy responses to it. Jill Rubery will consider the challenges that the current structural economic crisis poses for further advancement towards gender equality in Europe.


  • Jill Rubery, Professor of Comparative Employment Systems, Manchester Business School, University of Manchester


  • Claudia Menne, Confederal secretary ETUC

A lunchtime snack will be served from 12h00 onwards in front of the room.
To register for this event: Nar Bilgic (nbilgic@etui.org).

Background reading: