On International Women's Day, we recognise all that women have achieved thanks to their continuous and relentless fight for their rights, but we also recognise the work that still needs to be done to make gender equality a reality for women and girls at local and regional level, but also in the European Union and across the globe.
As we witness a backlash against women's rights, we should never forget that they are first and foremost human rights. Current challenges, such as violence against women in war zones and under autocratic regimes, but also within our Union, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis and the burdens of the economic crisis, have exacerbated gender inequalities and showed us how much work still needs to be done.
Local and regional representatives everywhere are acting to improve gender equality, but we need to move faster to ensure better representation, better participation and a better gender balance in our institutions at all levels, while making gender mainstreaming an indispensable condition for all policies.
Gender equality is a prerequisite for achieving a fairer and stronger Europe. The Committee of the Regions has a role to play here too, which starts with the example we set as a political assembly and through the decisions we take.
This is why we need a strong and clear commitment to improving gender equality in all our regions and cities and within the Committee of the Regions too.
Today is a day for action. We owe this to all women and girls, we owe this to ourselves, because without gender equality there is no future for the European Union.
President's spokesperson, European Committee of the Regions,
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