Celebrating International Women’s Day! – Nurses calling for a more gender-balanced EU

Celebrating International Women’s Day! – Nurses calling for a more gender-balanced EU

Posted on March 4, 2020

The EFN represents 3 million nurses in the EU, and 6 million nurses across the whole of Europe – the vast majority of the workforce (92%) is composed of women! For that reason, as well as for the necessary contribution of women to society, the EFN is proud to celebrate the International Women Day on 5 March and encourages all stakeholders to do the same. 


Despite some progress made in the last few years, even at the leadership of the EU, the EU Member States still need to introduce many reforms to address the gender-gap existing across many European countries and sectors; and address the long-standing inequality between women and men, both as providers and as recipients of care.


The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) remind that statistics about the participation of elected women in decision making across Europe are not comforting. In 2019, only 31% of the Parliaments members in the EU countries were women. Moreover, women counted only for 15% of mayors and 29% of local councillors. This negative trend undermines the potential benefits that would come from a more equal sharing of power between women and men.


The EFN encourages all stakeholders to tackle the gender gap and make policies and innovation work for women. The EFN is proud to say that its President and Vice-President are both women (Ms Elizabeth Adams, from the Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation; and Ms Nina Hahtela, from the Finnish Nurses Association). Moreover, three (out of four) members of its Executive Committee are women too (full details here). The gender-balance of the EFN’s leadership is a reflection of the reality of the nursing workforce in the field.