5 May 2014, Brussels – All of the speakers agreed: the current crisis has hit women and children hardest, and not knowing when it will end adds extra pressure on families, who have already great difficulties coping with the effect of cuts to services and to financial support.
COFACE and its Greek member organisation, KMOP organised the 1-day conference in Athens: “Families in the Crisis – Finding work-life balance in difficult economic context” in close cooperation with the Hellenic Presidency of the EU on April 28. The event gathered more than 100 participants at the Impact Hub, a social enterprise in the heart of Athens with the aim to understand better the situation of women in the Southern and Eastern European countries, and the impact of the crisis on their employment, family life, pensions, mental health and outlook.
“The demographic changes coupled with worsening working conditions and the increased labour market participation of women is an explosive cocktail for Europe’s future”, COFACE President Annemie Drieskens stated, “There is a real sense of urgency in improving policies, in providing better services and also rethinking the workplace”.
Commisioner Andor, along the same lines added “This rather grim picture reminds us of the need to keep reconciliation of work and family life high on the political agenda, both nationally and at the European and international levels. I am therefore grateful to COFACE to have continued their important campaign. From the Commission’s side I can reassure you that reconciling work and family life remains embedded in the European Union’s key policy aims including increasing”.
The event was a great opportunity to foster exchange between key research institutions and experts, Greek and other European civil society organisations and government representatives about the latest intelligence on the effect of the crisis, and possible initiatives and routes out. Among the many issues discussed it clearly emerged that the resilience of families to cope with the crisis has its limits, families mobilise a patchwork of different solutions, however without a real equal sharing of paid-work, caring and household work between men and women, societies won’t be able to sustainably exit the crisis.
Videos, pictures and presentations will be available on the events section.
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Ana Pérez, Communication Manager +32 2 500 56 93 email@example.com
Note to the editor
COFACE is a network of civil society associations representing the interests of all families. COFACE’s areas of work include social/family policy, education, disability, gender equality, migration, consumer issues, and also protection of children online, privacy, data protection and reflections on technological developments and how they may impact families. More: www.coface-eu.org