International Day for “Zero Discrimination” is marked on the 1st of March. This day highlights the right of all people to live in full dignity, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, skin color, profession, education or faith. Romania needs a society without discrimination, in which citizens promote and celebrate diversity, tolerance and inclusion. Women, children and young people, members of the Roma community, people with disabilities – are among the groups in our society, which continue to be subject to repeated discrimination.
The cost of discrimination that the labor market faces is striking: only the discrimination of women in the economic sector together with the low rate of participation of women in the labor market alone cause Romania losses of 1.6% of GDP annually. Promoting gender equality and encouraging the social participation of all categories of citizens are critical to Romania’s recovery and development. Creating viable alternatives for balancing work life with family life and combating violence against women, harassment and discrimination are required as integrated solutions to reduce the costs associated with gender discrimination. Today, in Romania, people with disabilities encounter many obstacles when trying to integrate socially and economically. These people face difficulties not only in terms of access to the labor market, but also regarding about access to buildings, institutions or public transport. Thus, today’s society perpetuates inequality in terms of rights, and discrimination brings with it the marginalization and segregation of citizens.
We have a duty to ensure the dignity and participation of all people in society, which is why we must create viable alternatives that will improve the participation in the labor market of all citizens of Romania. We must guarantee an inclusive working environment, with decent working conditions for all, and ensure access to the labor market for young people, women, people with disabilities or members of the Roma community. It is within our powers to change the lives of thousands of people in Romania, whose voices are not heard, to offer them support and equity.