Ministerial conference on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth

Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér hosted a conference on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth on 8 November in Gothenburg. Gender equality ministers from the upcoming EU presidencies took part and discussed gender equality in relation to the labour market and overall progress in the area of gender equality in the EU based on the Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

  • Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér with all the participants at ministerial conference on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/The University of Gothenburg

  • The opening speech by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven – via video link on Twitter @SwedishPM.

    Photo: Laila Österlund/ The University of Gothenburg

  • Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér.

    Photo: Laila Österlund/The University of Gothenburg

  • Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér and Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister of Health and Labour in Estonia.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/The University of Gothenburg

  • Martina Vuk, State Secretary at Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in Slovenia and Karen Ellemann, Minister for Fisheries and Equal Opportunities in Denmark.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/ The University of Gothenburg

  • Zornitsa Roussinova, State Secretary, Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in Bulgaria. Background: Martina Vuk, State Secretary in Slovenia, and Karen Ellemann, Minister from Denmark.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/ The University of Gothenburg

  • Marlene Schiappa, States Secretary för Gender Equality in France. In background Jari Partanen, State Secretary in Finland and Ralf Kleindiek, State Secretary in Germany.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/ The University of Gothenburg

  • Panel discussionen about how gender equality is a key to work life balance.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/The University of Gothenburg

  • Isa Notermans, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusions at Spotify, hold a speech about why Spotify support employees to stay home with children. Luis Lineo, President at Män ( a feminist organisation working to change destructive masculinity norms and reduce male violence.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/ The University of Gothenburg

  • Åsa Löfström, Associate Professor of Economics, Umeå University in Sweden hold a speech about how gender equality affects economic growth and the key gender pay gap.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/The University of Gothenburg

  • Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér at a Citizens's dialogue in Angered, Gothenburg, together with Jevgeni Ossinovski, Minister of Health and Labour in Estland, and Lena Ag, deputy Director General at the new Gender Equality agency in Sweden.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/ The University of Gothenburg

  • Minister Åsa Regnér listening to citizens in Angered, Gothenburg.

    Photo: Laila Östlund/ The University of Gothenburg

The conference was held ahead of the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, which will take place on 17 November, and be hosted by the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén.

The conference brought together ministers responsible for gender equality in several EU Member States, representatives of the EU institutions, the social partners, and civil society, as well as researchers working in this field.

Prime Minister Stefan Löfvén opened the conference with a video message.

 "A truly social Europe cannot be achieved without gender equality. Not only because gender equality is a fundamental right, but also because it is a prerequisite for economic growth, a well-functioning labour market and efficient social security systems," said Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Regnér at the conference.

 Each session opened with a speech, followed by a panel discussion that included ministers, experts, and representatives of the social partners and civil society.

• Session 1: Gender equality – a key to growth

• Session 2: Gender equality – a key to fair jobs

• Session 3: Work balance – a key to gender equality

• Concluding remarks: Integrating gender equality in the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth.

Link to program, conclusion observations and list of participants

"After hearing your thoughts and ideas during our discussions, it is even clearer to me that gender equality must be placed at the highest level of the EU political agenda. The outcome of these discussions will provide valuable input and a strong message to the Social Summit and to our heads of state and government on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth," said Ms Regnér in her concluding remarks.

The hashtags used for the meeting were #equalityworks17 and #socialsummit17.  

Ministers in dialogue with citizens in Gothenburg

A social Europe must also be created in close dialogue with its citizens. For this reason, Minister Åsa Regnér at the end of the day organized an open forum in the Gothenburg area of Angered. Together with Estonian Minister of Health and Labour, Jevgeni Ossinovski, the attending citizens were told about the day's conference, followed by an exchange of views with the participants on how gender equality can contribute to fair jobs and growth.