Today, on the occasion of the International Women's Day, the European Parliament highlighted the importance of Education for women and girls. The meeting had three main topics, the importance of eliminating gender disparity in education and training, challenges for equal access to continuous and quality education and moving towards the empowerment of women and girls through education in the European Union. The speakers from all over Europe emphasised, among other topics, Lifelong Learning for older women and the importance of an inclusive educations system, which sensitises students and pupils for equal opportunities in all areas.

Furthermore, the need to increase ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the school curriculums to empower young girls was mentioned. This topic was also supported by Manon van Hoorebeke, the European Digital Girl of the year 2014, who presented her experience and her work with new technologies.

The opening speech was held by Dimitotrios Papadimoulis, Vice president of the European Parliament and Věra Jourováheld, the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, gave the key-note speech. Hauwa Ibrahim, the Nigerian human rights lawyer who defends women against the Islamic Sharia law, sent a video message. She pointed out, that education for girls and women should not be left to chance anymore; rather it should be supported and promoted by governmental institutions and schools worldwide.

Finally the new study from the Committee for Women's Rights and Gender Equality, Empowering women and girls through education, was presented. The report aims to analyses disadvantages and opportunities for women and girls in the education sector.

Since the 8 March, which is the date of the International Women's Day, is a Sunday, the meeting took place on the 5 March 2015.

To read about ETUCE's work on gender equality, click here.