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This month around the globe, we dedicate 1 out of 365 days to celebrate women and girls. This year, the spotlight was in the world of work. As stated in the message by the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile MLambo-Ngcuka,

Achieving equality in the workplace will require an expansion of decent work and employment opportunities, involving governments’ targeted efforts to promote women’s participation in economic life, the support of important collectives like trade unions, and the voices of women themselves in framing solutions to overcome current barriers to women’s participation […]

It also requires a determined focus on removing the discrimination women face on multiple and intersecting fronts over and above their gender […]

Addressing the injustices will take resolve and flexibility from both public and private sector employers. Incentives will be needed to recruit and retain female workers; … support their re-entry into work, […]”[1].

I was highly satisfied with the 2017 IWD focus on work as it aligned with the aims and intentions of this webpage. In addition, greater emphasis is needed to develop, implement and expand concrete initiatives aimed at recruitment, re-entry and retention of women in the labour market, in particular schemes supporting migrant/mobile professional women.

Recalling my last post, mid-career intra-EU mobile jobseekers need the support of employment mobility schemes, such as REACTIVATE[2]. Based on the REACTIVATE call for proposal, this scheme represents a step forward in supporting the unemployed and potential employers. Nevertheless, an important aspect requires clarification regarding specific eligibility criteria for intra-EU mobile jobseekers. That is, are jobseekers wishing to take part in the program only those “seeking a work placement in another EU 28 country” ? Or would an EU citizen already residing in another Member State be eligible? In principle, would unemployed EU citizens already residing in another Member State be eligible to register, thus benefiting from the services of the program?

These questions are raised because numbers of accompanying partners/spouses already relocated and seeking employment could benefit from such comprehensive supporting services geared exclusively to intra-EU mobiles. In light of the realities of intra-EU mobile families, perhaps in future calls or existing programs, the requirement for relocation of candidates could be waved in favor of “the best interest” of jobseekers already residing in another EU Member State.

Based on the UN Women Executive Directors’ call for the “voices of women themselves in framing solutions to overcome current barriers to women’s participation … [along side] incentives needed to recruit and support [the] re-entry [of women] into work”, I would like to put forth the following suggestion:

That both private and public sectors’ employers consider: (1) stepping up their efforts in the recruitment process aimed at greater diversity outcomes in support of female intra-EU mobile citizens and migrant workers[3]; and (2) develop, partner and implement “returnship”/re-entry like programs for women who have undergone a career break due to family care or migration experiences, as suggested in previous posts.

All efforts towards a gender balanced 50/50 world of work and beyond are relevant, ‘Because it’s’ 2017 [4].

[1] See more at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2017/2/statement-ed-phumzile-iwd-2017#sthash.IY5i00Ct.4bvgnpVf.dpuf

[2] http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=629&langId=en&callId=485&furtherCalls=yes

[3] https://highlyskilledmigrantwomen.com/2016/02/01/2016-international-womens-day-women-employment-and-intra-eu-mobility/

[4] “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s succinct “Because it’s 2015” explanation of his new, half-female cabinet”, Trudeau’s ‘Because it’s 2015’ retort draws international attention, The Globe and mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/trudeaus-because-its-2015-retort-draws-international-cheers/article27119856/