• Better work-life balance and share of unpaid work between men and women
  • Binding measures on pay transparency for private companies
  • Negotiation of gender equality plans between companies and social partners
  • Raising wages in sectors where women take up the majority

Better work-life balance, gender equality plans and measures on pay transparency for private companies are needed to improve women’s economic empowerment in private and public sectors.

Woman Rights and Gender Equality MEP’s calls for better work-life balance including accessible and affordable childcare and a fairer share of unpaid work among women and men through an ‘equal earner/equal carer’ model. They invite the Commission to encourage companies with more than 50 employees to negotiate gender equality plans with social partners to foster a positive work-life-balance-friendly image in the private sector.

Binding measures with regards to pay transparency for companies to tackle issues of gender pay gap including pay audits and inclusion of equal pay measures in collective bargaining should be introduced. Social partners are important actors in promoting and bargaining equal pay and work-life balance, MEP’s note. 

Equal pay for equal work of equal value  


MEP’s invite the Commission to deliver a framework of job evaluation tools in order to achieve equal pay for equal work of equal value. Gender quotas in the public sector may also be necessary to ensure fair representation between men and women in public institutions, MEP’s say.


The Commission and Member States should promote the participation and education of women in sectors traditionally dominated by men such as ICT, but MEP’s also stress the importance of raising wages in sectors where women make up the majority such as cleaners and care workers.


Combatting all forms of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment at the workplace and economic violence, is crucial to ensure economic empowerment of women. In addition, the individual, social and economic empowerment of women is strongly interlinked with their right to have universal access to the full range of sexual and reproductive health and rights.


The draft report was adopted by 22 votes to 8 with 1 abstention.



Rapporteur Anna Hedh (S&D) said: “This report points out that women's economic empowerment is essential to gender equality and thus a fundamental right and at the same time boosting prosperity and economic growth. Once again we call on the Commission and Member states to adopt, in close cooperation with social partners, concrete policies and laws to enable women’s equal participation in the labour market and in economic decision making and to ensure equal pay for equal work and work of equal value.”



Quick Facts


In the EU, 31,5% of working women work part-time compared with 8,2% of working men and around 50 % of women work fulltime compared with 71,2% of men representing a fulltime employment gap of 25,5%. The gender pay gap in EU is 16, 1% and the pension gap 40, 2% and with significant differences between Member States. Caring responsibilities are reasons for inactivity for almost 20% of economically inactive women, which is only the case for 2% of economically inactive men.  According to EIGE, improvements to gender equality would generate up to 10.5 million additional jobs by 2050 in the EU, the EU employment rate would reach almost 80 % and that EU GDP per capita could increase by between 6.1 and 9.6 % and boost growth by between 15 and 45 % in the Member States by 2050.