International Women’s Day: Launch of the campaign for a common position on gender equality in the liberal professions’ sector

Press release

Brussels, the 8th of March 2021                                                                    For immediate release


Gender equality is a human right and a fundamental pillar to ensure peaceful, prosperous and sustainable environments. This is stated in Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which in the current context of pandemic becomes even more important, if possible, as the effects of COVID-19 are widening inequalities and gaps, negatively impacting the important advances experienced in recent times in terms of equality.

This is why, on this occasion, UN Women wanted to focus the theme of International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 on leadership with the slogan “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

A slogan that is supported by European professions and that seeks to celebrate the work and the struggle of women for equality in the context of extraordinary circumstances. At the same time, it goes hand in hand with the priority theme of the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, a UN Conference part of UNWomen, “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”, and the flagship Generation Equality campaign, which calls for women’s right to decision-making in all areas of life, equal pay, equal sharing of unpaid care and domestic work, an end all forms of violence against women and girls, and health-care services that respond to their needs.

The European professions, united in the European Council of Liberal Professions (CEPLIS), are aligned with the United Nations and the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, CEPLIS wishes to draw attention to four key issues that its Gender Equality Working Group is strategically working on: the pay gap, violence against women, STEM vocational education and the professional ethics, inherent in all of the above. These are all challenges faced by the professions gathered in CEPLIS and which are addressed through commitment and professional ethics, as set out in its Common Values.

Throughout 2021, each member organisation of CEPLIS will support one of these four major points.  The campaign will start via a series of short videos in order to raise concern on these issues and call every representative organisation to action. These videos will be released on CEPLIS social networks and will be presented again during the conference that will be organised on the 8th of March 2022 along with a common position on gender equality in the liberal professions’ sector. Until then CEPLIS will actively work to share its positions and expectations with the European institutions and collaborate to the development of the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.

March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day, is marked by a clear need to outline more egalitarian future horizons for all. An aspiration that undoubtedly involves the commitment of the professions to their very nature. Because without equality, there is no profession.

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The European Council of the Liberal Professions (CEPLIS) is the only European organisation bringing together the bodies federating the liberal professions at the level of Member States and those that represent specific professions at the level of the European Union. Our members are national inter-professional and European mono-professional bodies, representative of our sector. We are dedicated to the advancement of the moral, cultural scientific and material interests of the liberal professions of Europe. We do this through the study and promotion, both at the scientific and cultural levels, of all means, information and data related to the exercise and policies of the liberal professions and by working closely with the European Commission, Parliament, Economic and Social Committee.