Gender Equality

Related Theme: Social Affairs

The crisis has halted the gains made across Europe in integrating women into the labour market. Women’s employment rates were increasing steadily until 2008 when the crisis hit Europe, but have stagnated ever since. Austerity has reduced access to and financing of childcare services and care services for the elderly and other dependents.

In 2010, 28.3% of women’s inactivity and part-time work was explained by the lack of care services.

More generally, it could be said that the European Union is only half way towards a gender-equal society. According to the Gender Equality Index, the average EU score is only 54 out of 100. The 'work' domain (score: 69) reveals that women are still less likely to participate in the labour market than men; the 'money' area (68.9) confirms that women are at an economic disadvantage; as regards 'knowledge' (48.9), gender segregation in educational fields remains high; the 'time' parameter (38.8) shows that women are disproportionately responsible for caring activities and that a fairer time division could make important changes. Finally, the 'power' domain (38) identifies very low levels of equality in decision-making, particularly in the economic area.

The EESC on Gender Equality

The EESC has been very active in pointing out the need for more gender equality and the ways to achieve it. We recommend reading inspiring EESC opinions on female employment in relation to growth or female entrepreneurs, as well as opinions dealing with the darkest sides of gender inequality, such as domestic violence.

All events and opinions on gender equality can be accesses through the red and green boxes on this page.

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