Europe is moving towards gender equality with ‘a snail’s pace’ as inequality and gender gaps prevail in almost all areas of life. This is the main conclusion of the Gender Equality Index 2017 launched by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) on 11 October. The Index is an indicator that measures gender gaps between women and men in various areas of life (work, money, knowledge, time, power and health). This year report covers the progress made by European countries during 10 years (2005-2015) and indicates the average score of 66.2 out of 100, which is only a 4.2-point increase since 2005.

On the occasion of celebrating the World Teachers’ Day (5th October 2017), more than 200 teachers from 136 Tbilisi schools attended the central event, organised by ESFTUG, ETUCE member organisation in Georgia. The Vice-Prime Minister of Georgia and Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Alexandre Jejelava, took part in the celebration of the World Teachers’ Day. Colleagues in Georgia  recognise appreciatingly that the scale of the celebration of the teaching profession in Georgia is growing.

Gender equality in leadership, education and employment, protection from gender-based violence, and recognition of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, are among many important topics addressed at the various events of the European Week of Action for Girls 2017. This week-long campaign takes place in Brussels from 9-13 October and seeks to provide recommendations on how to better protect and promote girls’ rights and empowerment through EU policies, practices and programmes.

On 11 October 2017, ETUCE and EFEE met with the education social partners in Utrecht, the Netherlands, at the occasion of the third round table of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue in Education (ESSDE) Capacity building Project III. The meeting gathered the leaders of education trade unions (AOb, host and partner to the project, FNV O&O, CNV Onderwijs), employers’ organisations (PO-raad, MBO-raad, VO-raad, VSNU Universities) and school leaders (AVS) in the Netherlands.

On the occasion of the World Teachers’ Day (5th October 2017), UESCK-SBASHK, ETUCE member organisation in Kosovo, organised several events to commemorate the teaching profession both in Kosovo and worldwide. A thematic conference entitled "Teaching in freedom, empowering teachers" gathered around 163 representatives from education trade unions from across the country. Inter alia, representatives from the Confederation of Trade Union of Kosovo, trade union activists from the Kosovar and Albanian federations as well as representatives from the Parent Council of Kosovo. The delegation of government officials was headed by the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Prof. Dr. Enver Hoxhaj.

Marking the beginning of a new academic year, the European Commission has published a report on the European countries’ progress towards reducing child poverty and social exclusion and promoting child well-being. The report analyses national policies and investment strategies regarding the implementation of the 2013 EU Recommendation on “Investing in children: Breaking the cycle of disadvantage” and proposes a series of recommendations linking them to the recent European Commission establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights.