International Women’s Day: the gender aspects of energy poverty

Single women struggle more to pay their energy bills than single men. Find out more about the impact of the recent cost-of-living crisis.

Two pairs of women's hands next to a heater
International Women’s Day - The gender aspects of energy poverty

Energy poverty is a significant problem in many parts of Europe, as households struggle to pay rising energy costs. Eurofound data from 2022 shows that single mothers and other single women are more likely have difficulties paying their energy bills than single men. This is often due to lower average incomes and a higher prevalence of low-paid, part-time, or precarious work. The gender pay gap in the EU was still at 13% in 2020 and has only changed minimally over the last decade. It means women earn on average 13% less per hour than men.

The cost-of-living crisis is having a negative impact on women's economic and social inclusion, health and fundamental rights. It also makes it harder for women without an income or with a low income to flee abuse and domestic violence from a partner to whom they are financially tied.

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Parliament is working on setting up the Social Climate Fund to ensure that every European, especially those in vulnerable situations, have access to affordable energy. The fund should finance concrete measures to address energy and mobility poverty, both in the short and longer term.


The women’s rights and gender equality committee will meet with members of national parliaments from EU countries on 1 March ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March and discuss the gender aspects of energy poverty. Hosted by committee chair Robert Biedroń, the meetings features guests such as Katharina Habersbrunner, from Women Engage for a Common Future and Juliana Whalgren, the Director of the European Anti-poverty Network. The event is a chance to exchange information, experiences and best practices in addressing the energy crisis and its social and economic effects on women.

Follow the event live online.