Brussels Declaration: our Manifesto

What do we need to work on – and how can we do it?
We have identified several goals and possible actions to achieve them from the four areas mentioned above.

All of them aim to include men as inclusivity is the only way, involving men in the gender debate,  to set the right diagnosis, to agree on solutions and to get the buy-in needed for sustainable and substantive change.

Ending gender-based violence, challenging gender stereotypes;

  • Accelerate the introduction of European legislation to prevent and combat gender-based violence, including domestic and online violence.

Addressing the gender pay and pension gaps

  • Adoption of the proposed new Directive to strengthen equal pay between men and women and to introduce mandatory gender pay monitoring for large companies, is strongly supported.
  • Pay transparency measures
  • Gender pay gap reporting

Closing the gender finance gap

  • Increasing the private and public funding amount and private and public funding opportunities to women led startups and women led funds
  • Including the gender factor of public procurement
  • Gender budgeting transparency/ Increase data reporting
  • Financial sector incentives, tax reductions and incentives for investors investing in women-led startups cross border, cross region
  • Facilitate funds going to support financial mentoring and networking for women led startups, women led funds and women led research.
  • Support activities to support women led startups, women led funds and women led researchers to access branding, PR, press, marketing and sales knowledge to increase the visibility and performance of their vision and projects.

Closing the gender care gap

Currently, responsibility for care work – be it children or relatives in need of care – is mostly done by women, unpaid and unrecognized. This leads to a disproportionate burden, often connected with financial disadvantages as unpaid time and negative effects on pension.

We need to involve all stakeholders and work towards a different understanding about the responsibilities as well as create more possibilities.

  • Monitor implementation of the new Work-Life Balance Directive 2019/1158
  • Promote the benefits of parental leave and flexible working to ensure equal uptake between men and women and a fair distribution of caring responsibilities between men and women.
  • Improve maternity provisions for women entrepreneurs & start-ups
  • Sharing of good practice across Member States to support self-employed women during pregnancy and maternity
  • Increase maternity protection + parental leave (around birth/ during childhood)
  • Support reintegration into e.g. equal jobs after leave periods
  • Eliminate discriminatory/ discouraging tax law models, increase number of fostering laws
  • Realize Universal Childcare, which has shown to have a positive ROI

Gender equality in practice in working life and decision making

  • Importance of positive action , within the scope of  Article 157(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as a mechanism to focus on results and achieve substantive equality rather than formal.
  • Clarify the scope and objectives of EU legislation that allows for positive action
  • Provide guidance about the use of positive action measures and to facilitate the sharing of examples of good practice to achieve gender equality.
  • Accelerate the introduction of the Directive on improving gender balance on company boards  
  • Implement gender parity targets for senior position across society
  • Binding objective of at least 40% of board members  of each gender by 2026

Gender mainstreaming

  • Strengthen gender mainstreaming and ensure that considerations about the impact of budgetary and policy decisions on progressing gender equality are taken into account in the EU budget and in post-pandemic recovery funds. Promote through gender mainstreaming better understanding of the interdependence between gender equality and the economy.
  • Gender lens in budgeting, funding and reporting
  • Support green and digital growth by the economic empowerment of women
  • Develop women‘s financial literacy and introduce funds for female entrepreneurs.
  • Implement compulsory finance, innovation and entrepreneurship education at schools and universities with gender balanced role models and success stories.

Improve monitoring and communication of gender equality


  • Monitoring systems with fixed and clear goals and indicators for implementation of actions based on evaluation results
  • Definition of a long term, transparent monitoring framework to measure success and reach sustainability
  • Reinforcement through definition of the best body for monitoring and evaluation


  • Communication of EU gender equality law: Improve public and stakeholders understanding of the EU legal framework on gender equality and its level of implementation among Member States.
  • Share good practice of legal implementation across Member States through user-friendly materials such as factsheets and case studies.
  • Neutral vocabulary, design and equality of role models representation in Media and press outlets
  • Increase the visibility of female role models
  • Work on mindset towards roles & professions in education and companies
  • Communicate positive effects of diversity & inclusion (financial, societal, )
  • Foster understanding from both sides to change unconscious bias overtime