Κυριακή, 5 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Gender Inequality holds strong in the European Union

Progress towards gender equality in the EU‑28 is rather slow — the Gender Equality Index score increased from 62 points in 2005 to 65 points in 2012 and 66.2 points in 2015. Each Member State has room for improvement and faces particular obstacles to achieving gender equality. The Index helps Member States identify these issues and points out which population groups face additional challenges.  Out of the Index’s six core domains, the most improvement was made in the domain of power, while gender inequalities have increased in the domain of time over the past 10 years. For the first time, the Gender Equality Index adds to the analysis an intersectional perspective which shows that gender inequalities vary across age, education, family composition and parenthood, country of birth and disability. The evidence calls for an intersectional approach in policymaking to target unique experiences of discrimination and disadvantage for both women and men.


Domain of work
With 71.5 points, the domain of work has the third-highest score, but progress has stagnated: the score improved by only 1.5 points over the past decade, of which 0.5 points since 2012.  Gender segregation in employment persists and there are still barriers to accessing the labour market, especially for women with disabilities and women with low qualifications. Limited work-life balance negatively affects both women and men, but women with children are particularly affected. Only 23 % of women and 27 % of men can very easily take an hour or two off during working hours to take care of personal and family matters.

Domain of money
The score for the domain of money has improved by 5.7 points since 2005, reaching 79.6 points, mainly due to gains in the sub-domain of financial resources. However, this is only a 1.2 point improvement from 2012. In 2014 the gender gap in earnings in the EU‑28 was 20 %, and nearly twice as high for couples with children and lone parents, pointing to an enduring ‘motherhood pay gap’ and ‘fatherhood premium’. Over the life course, these inequalities lead to increased exposure to poverty for women in old age and a gender pension gap of 40 %. The share of the EU population at risk of poverty has slightly increased over the past 10 years. 17 % of women and 16 % of men over the age of 16 are at risk of poverty. A fifth or more of the female population is at risk of poverty in nine Member States. Among women and men born outside the EU, the risk of being in poverty is more than twice as high as among the EU-born population.

Domain of knowledge
The score rose from 60.8 points in 2005 to 62.8 points in 2012 and 63.4 points in 2015, reflecting mostly an increasing educational attainment but persisting gender segregation in education. In 2015, more young women have higher educational attainment relative to men and the gender gap is increasing to the detriment of men. Gender segregation in tertiary education remains a challenge: two to almost three times more women than men choose to study education, health and welfare, and this trend has not changed since 2005. Despite a greater need to upscale one’s skills through lifelong learning, the average participation rate of women and men in the EU is the same as 10 years ago. Less than a tenth of women and men aged 50-64 take part in education and training.

Domain of time
Gender inequalities in time use are persistent and growing — at 65.7 points, a 1.0 point decrease from 2005 to 2015, this domain has the third lowest score in the Gender Equality Index. Gender gaps in unpaid care persist: only every third man engages daily in cooking and housework for 1 hour or more. The care burden is especially high among non-EU born women. More importantly, over the last 10 years, there has been almost no improvement towards gender equality in this area across the EU. The gender gap in engagement in unpaid domestic work decreases with educational level. That is to say, the higher the educational level, the lower the gender gap.

Domain of power
ƒƒWhile the domain of power has the lowest score in the Index (48.5 points in 2015), it also shows the most improvement (an increase of 9.6 points since 2005). Improvements in the scores of the sub-domains of political and economic power, as shown by narrowing gender gaps in national parliaments and on corporate boards, were largely driven by legislative action and/or intensive public debates on the issue. The sub-domain of social power, which is populated with data for the first time, reveals that decision-making positions in research-funding organizations, media and sports organizations are all still dominated by men. This can be attributed partly to the fact that these imbalances lack the same level of visibility as the other sub-domains, despite the symbolic importance of research, media and sports and their role in shaping social norms.

Domain of health
The domain of health displays a relatively high score (87.4 points), but this score improved by only 0.2 points from 2012 and there are still inequalities between and within Member States. Gender inequalities are most prominent in the sub-domain of health behaviour, with a score of 75.4 points. Men are more physically active than women, but men are more involved in risk behaviour such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Some population groups face challenges in accessing adequate healthcare: over one tenth of both lone mothers and people with disabilities had unmet medical needs.

Satellite domain of violence
Violence against women is rooted in historically unequal power relations between women and men, and remains the most brutal manifestation of gender inequality. For statistical and conceptual reasons, it is treated as a satellite domain in the Gender Equality Index. This (third) edition of the Gender Equality Index 2017 has further developed the composite indicator of violence against women. It enables the monitoring of the extent of the most common and widely criminalized forms of violence against women (i.e. sexual and physical violence and femicide) across the EU. The composite indicator is accompanied by indicators on other forms of violence (e.g. female genital mutilation, forced marriage, stalking, etc.), for which comparable and reliable data are very limited, and contextual factors that include some of the root causes of violence against women and information on governments’ efforts to combat it. The full theoretical and measurement framework of the domain of violence is described in details in EIGE’s forthcoming publication Gender Equality Index 2017: Measurement framework of violence against women to be released in November 2017 (EIGE, 2017d).

This report documents the third edition of the Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Since its launch in 2013, the Gender Equality Index has been recognized for its notable contribution to policy debates and increased awareness about gender equality at the EU and national levels.  The Index is a comprehensive measure for assessing the state of the art and monitoring progress in gender equality across the EU over time. The third edition provides scores for 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2015. It relies on a conceptual framework that embraces different theoretical approaches to gender equality and integrates key gender equality issues within the EU policy framework.  The Index measures gender gaps and takes into account the context and different levels of achievement of Member States within a range of relevant policy areas: work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. Additionally, it gives insights into violence against women and intersecting inequalities. It shows the different outcomes of EU and national policies for women and men and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based policy making in the area of gender equality. You can download the full publication of the report HERE.


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