IWD 2019 : STRENGTHENING PUBLIC SERVICES – A DOUBLE WIN FOR GENDER EQUALITY

USF along with EPSU, also through its membership in the European Trade Union Confederation, and by being the European region of Public Services International, engages on European and global level to fight for better pay and working conditions for public service workers. Gender equality has been at the core of EPSU’s work, with its Women’s and Gender Equality Committee convening regularly. On IWD 2019, EPSU is therefore well-placed to contribute to the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), with next year’s session main theme being, amongst other things, access to public services.

Read EPSU briefing ahead of the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women :

The quality of employment in public services and the quality, accessibility and affordability of public services provided are strongly linked – deficiencies in the former have a detrimental effect on the latter. Investing in public services in the right way is an imperative from a gender equality perspective, and it also brings double gains.

1) Women make up the majority of workforce in many public service sectors and therefore properly valuing the work done and workers in these areas (reflected by adequate salaries and working conditions, representation) is crucial to ensuring decent work and improving the well-being of the women (and men) employed in public services.

2) Doing so also has a positive impact on the quality of services (be it care, health care etc.) provided, and thus on the lives of the public service users – women being at the forefront of them, as well.

3) To achieve this, it is indispensable that the strengthening of public services happens in line with the values public services represent: solidarity, equal access, democratic control. Only public investment financed through progressive taxation, and not market-based alternatives (like public-private partnerships) can help realise redistribution that benefit women, create public goods, and provide decent wages and working conditions for women working in the sector.