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Pensions policy: ensuring dignity for women in old age

Date

07 Mar 2012

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

Opening the GUE/NGL hearing on women's pension rights on the eve of International Women's Day, MEP Mikael Gustafsson, Chair of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, reminded participants that "women's precarious working conditions, sharp pay inequalities during their working lives, and an unequal sharing of care for children, are later mirrored in their lower pension rights".

The initiative brings together experts, researchers and campaigners this afternoon in the European Parliament to debate women's pension rights in Europe, the effects of the current economic crisis on their pensions and the Commission's new White Paper on EU pension policy.

Regarding the social situation of older women, "poverty rates are the highest among older women, and this is an unacceptable situation," said German MEP Cornelia Ernst.  "A universal and individual old age pension is key for greater gender equality in old age."

Speaking about the current economic crisis, Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber stressed that "the inadequate responses in the form of austerity policies are having disastrous effects on social security nets, including pension rights. Women are particularly hard hit by these appalling policies."

For her part, Dutch MEP Kartika Liotard highlighted the increased privatisation of pension systems in many Member States. "Increased reliance on private pension schemes is detrimental to equality, and women are the first to lose out on this development," she said. "EU policy still has a long way to go to address inequalities in old age, and in particular to promote pension policies which take women's situations into account." 



GUE/NGL Press Contacts:

Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20   

David Lundy +32 485 50 58 12

gabrielle.kavanagh@europarl.europa.eu  

david.lundy@europarl.europa.eu

European United Left / Nordic Green Left

European Parliamentary Group

www.guengl.eu 

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