Main menu (press 'Enter')
Access to page content (press 'Enter')
Direct access to list of other websites (press 'Enter')

Gender equality: time to close the gap

Others Article - Women's rights/Equal opportunities06-02-2017 - 17:46
 

It would take another 70 years for women to earn the same as men with the current pace of progress, according to the European Commission. Europe might be one of the world's leaders when it comes to gender equality, but in the EU women still get on average lower salaries and pensions and continue to be underrepresented in political and economic positions of power and decision-making. A report adopted by the women's rights committee today urges the EU to step up its efforts.


Current situation


The employment rate for women reached an all-time high in 2015 with 64%, compared to 76% for men. Women are four times more likely than men to engage and remain in part-time work. They are also more likely than men to have added responsabilities. Three quarters of household works and two thirds of parental care were done by working women.


Although women have on average a higher level of education than men, they continue to earn less and receive lower pensions. The pay gap in the EU was 16.1% in 2014, while the gap for pensions accounted for 40.2%. In half of EU countries this gap has even increased.


In national parliaments the share of women has increased from 21% in 2005 to 28% in 2016. In the European Parliament their share increased from 30% to 37% over the same period.


Report


The Parliament report on equality between women and men in the EU in 2014-2015 stresses the need to establish gender equality as a political priority. It also calls for creating a legal framework to help people establish a better work-life balande and highlights the negative impact of austerity policies and cutbacks in public care and health services.


"We need gender equality back at the top of the political agenda at EU level," said report author Ernest Urtasun, a Spanish member of the Greens/EFA group.


Gender equality index


In order to be able to compare the situation in each member state, the European Institute for Gender Equality publishes the gender equality index. The institute looks at six different areas (namely work, money, knowledge, time, power and health) and assigns a score between 1 and 100 to each EU country. A score of 1 stands for total inequality and 100 for full equality, so the higher the score the better. In 2012 the average for all EU countries was 52.9, an increase of only 1.6 points since 2005.


Gender Equality Index (data 2012)


EU average

52.9

Austria

50.2

Belgium

58.2

Bulgaria

38.5

Croatia

39.8

Cyprus

44.9

Czech Republic

43.8

Denmark

70.9

Estonia

49.8

Finland

72.7

France

55.7

Germany

55.3

Greece

38.3

Hungary

41.6

Ireland

56.5

Italy

41.1

Latvia

46.9

Lithuania

40.2

Luxembourg

55.2

Malta

46.8

Netherlands

68.5

Poland

43.7

Portugal

37.9

Romania

33.7

Slovenia

57.3

Slovakia

36.5

Spain

53.6

Sweden

74.2

UK

58.0









REF. : 20170203STO61042
Updated: ( 06-02-2017 - 18:06)