The GEI acknowledges that the biggest boost for gender equality over the last ten years has been in the area of decision-making, especially in the private sector – while full gender equality has not yet become a reality even in this domain. At the same time, progress is much slower in other areas. Progress on gender equality even slipped backwards in 12 European countries in terms of a more equal sharing of domestic responsibilities between men and women in families.
Kirsten Lühmann said: “This edition of the Gender Equality Index is again a very useful and highly relevant contribution for policy debates and awareness about gender equality, even if many results do not come as a surprise. In CESI’s Commission on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, member trade unions from various European countries have continued to report on problems and challenges that the EIGE index mirrors. In all areas of the society, economy, employment and personal life, inequalities that women face persist stubbornly, and improvements take place at snail pace. I strongly urge the European Commission and the governments of the Member States to carefully analyse the findings of the index and take more ambitious steps to move towards real and effective gender equality across the board. We, as trade unions, will make sure to continue to carry our messages to political decision-makers.”
The GEI 2017 notes, for instance, that:
- in the area of ‘work’, participation in employment is still particularly limited for women with low qualifications and women with disabilities, and having children still means a financial penalty for women and an earnings boost for men. Also, women with children would benefit most from improved work-life balance policies and having children still tends to lead to a financial penalty for women and an earnings boost for men.
- in the field of ‘money’, despite an increase in average income, poverty reduction among women and disadvantaged groups remains a challenge.
- in the domain ‘knowledge’, gender segregation continues persists despite improving educational attainment.
- in the area of ‘time’, only every third man engages daily in cooking and housework, and unpaid care burden is especially high among non-EU born women.
- in the field of ‘power’, moves towards gender equality are most pronounced on corporate boards but are lagging behind in other areas of this field.
- in the domain ‘health’, low education still means poorer health especially for women, and medical care needs of lone mothers and people with disabilities are still more often unmet.
- generally, lifetime inequalities lead to acute gender gaps in old age.
The full report, including all statistics and detailed findings, is available on the website of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).
Picture: Kirsten Lühmann © CESI 2017