Budapest Forum 2023 - Keynote speech – Helena Dalli: Illiberalism and Gender – An Uneasy Relationship



  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality

Main takeaways

  • The cornerstones of our liberal democracies and foundations of the European Union are the values of equality, human rights, and human dignity – we must stay vigilant and counter ongoing attacks on them.
  • Women across the EU are responsible for 75% of unpaid care and household work which limits their possibility to make progress. The economic empowerment and financial independence of women is not merely a question of fairness, it also brings clear socio-economic benefits.
  • The European Care Strategy aims to help ensure quality, affordable and accessible care services across the EU and make it easier for women with care responsibilities to engage in paid work.
  • This not only helps to close the gender employment gap but also brings the Member States closer to their headline employment targets, with the improved economy benefiting the whole of society.
  • The principle of equal pay for work of equal value is a pillar of the WU social policy. The Pay Transparency Directive adopted in May this year makes this principle a legal reality in all EU Member States
  • Women have an inalienable right to live free from violence. With the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention, we have achieved a historic breakthrough towards eradicating gender-based violence across the Union.

The LGBTQI Strategy is also bringing meaningful progress towards an EU that acts as a safe place for every LGBTQI person through legal protection, the promotion of good practices