February 8, 2024

Achieving gender equality through collective and targeted funding

This opinion article by Marion Schaefer (Managing Director, Fondation CHANEL, France & Europe, and Chair of the Alliance) and Jennifer Clarke (Director of Programmes and Grants, Bodossaki Foundation) was published in Philea.

Across the globe, multiple challenges are increasingly threatening to reverse years of progress in gender equality. In these post-pandemic times, from Afghanistan and Iran to the US and Poland, women’s rights are being eroded. Europe is no stranger to that trend, with stark anti-gender funding and closing of civic spaces.

While women in Europe still enjoy significant freedoms, there is much work to be done to protect those gains and ensure we achieve full gender equality. The lack of economic inclusion of women and gender non-conforming people is a persistent issue.

In Europe, women are earning 13% less than their male counterparts and face a 30% pension gap. Additionally, data indicates that 40% of transgender individuals have encountered discrimination in the workplace or during job searches. These numbers aren’t just data points; they represent a stark reality that compels us to confront the systemic barriers perpetuating gender inequalities with urgency.

Findings from a recent EU-wide survey on violence against women reveal that, on average, 12% of women in the EU have faced partner abuse involving economic violence. These challenges are exacerbated for those living in poverty, with disabilities, and/or belonging to marginalised groups.