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Gender equality going down

European index shows decreases in gender equality

For the first time, the European Gender Equality Index has recorded decreases in scores in several core areas. A decrease in the score of participation in work indicates that women are increasingly likely to spend fewer years of their lives in employment, hindering career and pension prospects. Had it not been for the progress in the domain of power – economics and politics –  the Index would have experienced an overall decrease in score, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) says in its Gender Equality Index 2022. 

“The freshly launched Gender Equality Index 2022 reveals that progress continues at a snails’ pace, with a mere 0.6-point increase since last year’s edition. As a result, the EU average score now stands at 68.6 out of 100 points, only 5.5 points higher than in 2010.”

“Given that the Gender Equality Index 2022 focuses for the first time mainly on data from the first pandemic year 2020, the scores present strong warning signs amid continued uncertainty and turmoil.”

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“This underlines the importance of the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the EU Council on the directive to improve gender balance on corporate boards in June 2022.” 

Country scores continue to present a mixed picture, EIGE says:

“Top performers include Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands – although progress towards gender equality stalled in Sweden and Denmark. Meanwhile, Greece, Hungary and Romania are struggling the most to advance gender equality.”

“On a more positive note, since the last edition, the most significant increases in Index scores were found in Lithuania, Belgium, Croatia and the Netherlands.”

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What is most pressing is that this year’s score has taken a turn with decreases in several areas for the first time since 2010. This requires urgent scrutiny, as our results show that specific groups of people, who tend to be in more vulnerable situations during times of crises, are most at risk, where stark gendered gendered inequalities compound the issue. We cannot afford to lose our sight on gender equality”, says EIGE director Carlien Scheele.

It is crucial we see progress on our legislative proposals, to improve gender balance on corporate boards, to have pay transparency, and to put an end to violence against women and domestic violence. I call on all stakeholders to do their part for equal opportunities, safety and equal say for women and men, said EU commissioner for equality Helena Dalli.

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