The DP recently stated that a sustainable development of our country is only possible if additional efforts are made in the area of equal opportunities. ‘Equal opportunities’ as such is a very broad concept, as it involves many different aspects of our lives.
But what do we actually mean when talking about “equal opportunities”? The principle of ‘equal opportunities’ should guarantee the same opportunities to everyone, regardless of socio-cultural, socio-economic or physical factors. Everyone should be given the same opportunities to make the best out of their own lives and to develop and use their talents in the best possible way.
This also means that no one should be disadvantaged because of their faith, their origins, their ap-pearance or any kind of disability.
So what is the current situation in Luxembourg? It is true that in Luxembourg things are going rather well in a good number of areas, be they economic, social or cultural. Luxembourg is often number one amongst developed countries.
As far as equal opportunities are concerned, the commitment of the DP has, for example, led to the introduction of ‘marriage for all’, and we also have a very committed Ministry of Family Affairs, re-sponsible, amongst other things, for “people with special needs”.
In addition, many ‘design for all’ initiatives have been carried out, such as ‘easy language’ projects and projects to improve mobility and accessibility for all citizens. This includes progressive adaptations in the public domain that aim to improve the mobility of peo-ple with wheelchairs, walkers, prams or also visual impairments.
On top of that, a law proposal was put forward to regulate the accessibility of public buildings. So far, the lakes of Remerschen have set a positive example here, by carrying out improvement works to increase wheelchair accessibility and by providing a water wheelchair.
Guaranteeing access to public educational and cultural facilities, and later on apprenticeship posi-tions for across all social classes also remains imortant. This is the right of every citizen – regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, appearance, faith or any sort of physical disability.
With regard to gender equality, further efforts must however be made, especially with regard to equal pay at work. On average, a woman in Luxembourg earns 94 cents, while a man receives 1 euro for doing the same type of work. Monetary parity is planned to be achieved by 2027, and we should actively follow the develop-ments on this subject.
Gender stereotypes are another problem at work: men are under-represented in the socio-educational sector, while women are rather rare in the financial sector.
To change these trends, and create a more equal balance, we need to inform the people better and raise awareness.
We should start doing so from an early age, in the daycare facilities and schools, but also be proac-tive in the professional world. I am aware that in Luxembourg we often complain at a very high lev-el, but there is still room to improve the general quality of life for all citizens.
To implement all these resolutions we require a collective effort, information, awareness-raising and the will to act.
Julie Brückler, 25 years, is the vice president of JDL-Zentrum and president of the work group “chance equality”. Living in Bartringen, she’s currently finishing her master studies in Management and Marketing and has been an active member of the DP and JDL since 2018.