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DS-AU-13-001-EN-C
doi: 10.2838/36610
Justice
Progress on equality between
women and men in 2012
Progress on equality between women and men in 2012 - A Europe 2020 initiative
A Europe 2020 initiative
The European Union has enshrined gender equality as a fundamental right.
The Staff Working Document on Progress on Equality between Womenand
Men in 2012 presents recent developments in gender equality and statistics
in all fields covered by the Strategy for equality between women and men
(2010-2015): equal economic independence; equal pay for equal work and
work of equal value; equality in decision-making; dignity, integrity and an
end to gender-based violence; and gender equality in external actions.
European Commission - Directorate-General for Justice
Progress on equality between women and men in 2012
Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union
2013 — 60 pp. — 21×21 cm
ISBN: 978-92-79-29838-7
doi: 10.2838/36610
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ISBN: 978-92-79-29838-7
doi: 10.2838/36610
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Printed in Belgium
Staff Working Document
on Progress on Equality
between Women and Men
in 2012
* Commission Staff Working Document on Progress on equality between women and men in 2012 - Accompanying document to the Report from the Commission
to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – 2012 Report on the Application of
the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, SWD(2013) 171 final
1. Introduction ........................................................... 4
2. Equal economic independence during the crisis ........................... 6
3. Equal pay for equal work and work of equal value ........................15
4. Equality in decision-making ............................................ 25
5. Dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence: a growing attention
to a persisting issue ..................................................30
6. Gender equality in external actions .....................................33
7. Horizontal issues .....................................................35
8. Summary of main findings ............................................37
Statistical annex ........................................................ 38
TABLE OF CONTENT
Progress on equality between women and men in 2012*
4
Progress on Equality between
Women and Men in 2012
1. Introduction
Equality between men and women is a fundamental right and a common principle of the
European Union. It is also a key element of sustainable, smart and inclusive economic growth.
Greater gender equality has accounted for a significant share of the employment and economic
growth in the past 50 years and its potential impact is not yet fully exploited. New research shows
that levelling gender gaps upwards could enhance potential economic growth: the projected gain
from full convergence in participation rates by 2020 is an increase of 12.4 % in GDP per capita
by 2030
1
: this would represent an important contribution to the EU economic recovery and an
important asset for the EU in a time of downturn.
Gender gaps decreased in several domains in the last five years. A closer insight shows that this
decrease is not the consequence of an improvement of the situation of women but to a faster
deterioration of the situation of men as compared to women, in particular in the first period of
the crisis. Therefore, the EU has experienced a levelling down of gender gaps in employment,
unemployment, wages and poverty in recent years. Significant challenges also remain in fields
such as violence against women, reconciling work and family life and gender balance in
decision-making.
This report assesses the situation of women and men and the changes over time, focusing
on 2012 but also taking a long-term perspective and putting the current challenges in the con-
text of the evolution of the last decade. It takes stock of major policy developments during
the last year. 2012 was indeed rich in new initiatives on gender equality, at both European and
national level. The report illustrates some of the many ways in which the European Union and
its Member States have promoted gender equality.
1 ‘Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now’, OECD report, December 2012.
5
This report is structured around the five priority areas defined in the Commission commu-
nication Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015
2
, namely:
1. Equal economic independence for women and men.
2. Equal pay for work of equal value.
3. Equality in decision making.
4. Dignity, integrity and ending of gender violence.
5. Promoting gender equality beyond the EU.
A comprehensive mid-term review of the Strategy for equality between women and men will be
presented by the Commission in 2013.
While covering all five priorities of the Strategy, the report focuses on specific aspects that
gained importance in 2012 and on new initiatives that should be highlighted:
• the availability, quality and affordability of childcare facilities remain a key driver to enhance
women’s employment and contribution to economic growth. The extent to which the so-called
Barcelona
3
targets in this field, adopted ten years ago, have been achieved, is scrutinised in
a separate part of the report;
• whereas women constitute an increasing part of the workforce, they are not yet represented
at the highest decision-making levels. The Commission proposal for gender balance on
boards of publicly listed companies therefore constitutes a key milestone for gender
equality
4
;
• gender-based violence remains a serious and unacceptable violation of human rights.
Important steps have been taken at European level to combat it.
The report also presents an insight of current economic crisis with a focus on the specific chal-
lenges faced by young women and young men. On a longer-term perspective, new findings on
the contribution of gender equality to growth are also presented.
2 COM(2010)491.
3 ‘Member States should strive (...) to provide childcare by 2010 to at least 90 % of children between 3 years old
and the mandatory school age and at least 33 % of children under 3 years of age’.
4 Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving the gender balance among
non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures, COM(2012) 614 final.
Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2012:0614:FIN:en:PDF
6
2. Equal economic independence during the crisis
Having a job is a necessary – but not always sufficient – condition for economic independence
and decent living for working-age men and women. In 2012, the scarcity of jobs has affected
the lives of many men and women – though in different ways (section 2.1) – and has particu-
larly affected the youth labour market (section 2.2). More structural factors, such as the unavail-
ability of childcare facilities (section 2.3), partly explain the remaining gender gap in employment,
and require to be addressed under the Europe 2020 Strategy.
2.1. A levelling-down of the gender gap in employment
Before the crisis, women were slowly catching up with men on the labour markets of all
European countries: their employment rate increased from 55 % in 1997 to 62.8 % in 2007, gain-
ing 6.9 percentage points while the male employment rate increased from 75.3 % to 77.9 %, gain-
ing 2.6 percentage points in the same period. The crisis has halted these positive trends.
However, male employment dropped earlier and faster (as shown in Figure 1): the male employ-
ment rate went down to 74.6 % in 2012, its lowest level since 1997, while female employment
decreased only slightly at 62.4 %. The fall in female employment was smaller at the beginning of
the crisis, as women were underrepresented in sectors such as manufacturing, construction and
finance, which were hit the most. However the on-going process of fiscal consolidation is increas-
ingly involving staffing freezes or personnel cuts in the public sector which is female dominated.
This diminishes the prospects of a swift recovery for female employment in several countries
5
.
Looking at changes in unemployment since the beginning of the crisis, the female unemploy-
ment rate was much higher than the male unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2008 and
increased as the recession worsened, but not as much as male unemployment. As a consequence,
both rates have converged (see Figure 2). In the fourth quarter of 2012, the male and female
unemployment rates reached new highs of 10.6 % and 10.8 %, respectively, corresponding to
almost 26 million Europeans in unemployment.
Despite the continuous increase in unemployment, inactivity and discouragement (characterised
by abandonment of job search and the labour market) keep falling, in particular among women.
Many more women than men were inactive in 2012 (30.5 % compared to 17 %), but the gender
gap was lower than five years before (13.5 pp compared to 15.7 pp in 2007). Women are no
longer the ‘buffer’ of the labour market, called in when demand is high, but sent back home
when demand contracts
6
.
5 See ‘The impact of the economic crisis on the situation of women and men and on gender equality policies’, report of the
European Network of Experts on Gender Equality, commissioned by the European Commission, December 2012. Available
at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/documents/130410_crisis_report_en.pdf
6 Idem.
7
40
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
percent
Figure 1: Employment rate of men and women (20-64 years old), EU-27, 1997-2012 (%)
Source: Eurostat, Labour Force Survey (LFS)
Men
Women
55.0
62.8 62.4
75.3
77.9
74.6
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
percent
Figure 2: Unemployment rate of men and women (15-74 years old) seasonally adjusted, EU-27,
from the beginning of the crisis in 2008 to 2012 (%)
Source: Eurostat, LFS
Men
Women
7.4
10.8
6.3
10.6
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
8
As an alternative to lay-offs, part-time work has risen during the crisis, in particular among men:
8.4 % of employed men were part-timers in 2012 (compared to 7 % in 2007). However, part-
time working remains a much more common feature of female employment (32.1 % in 2012
and 30.8 % in 2007). Involuntary part-time work has also risen among both men and women:
involuntary part-time employment represents 39 % of total part-time male employment in 2012
(against 30 % in 2007) and 24 % of total part-time female employment in 2012 (against 20 %
on 2007).
The situation of men and women varies from one Member State to another (see Figure 3).
The female employment rate is lower than 60 % in Malta, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Romania,
Poland, Slovakia and Ireland, while is above 70 % in Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark
and Sweden. Some Member States with the highest female employment rates also display a high
share of part-time employment among women (the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the
United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg).
The differences in terms of number of hours worked can be summarised in one telling figure: if
employment is measured in full-time equivalents, only 53.5 % of the female workforce is
employed in the EU as compared to 62.4 % in terms of employment rate’s usual measure.
Improving female labour market participation is needed to ensure a sustained and inclusive
growth. Recent evidence from the OECD
7
shows that on average, the projected gain from full
convergence in participation rates is an increase of 12.4 % in GDP per capita by 2030
in EU-21
8
. The projected gains are substantially higher in those Member States where the gen-
der gap in labour force participation is currently high. The same OECD report also demonstrates
that while childcare facilities remain the key driver of female employment, a comprehensive pol-
icy-mix is also required to enable women and men to balance work with their family and private
life and to address the difficulties encountered at different stages of life. The following sections
present policies that have been implemented and their contribution to the enhancement of labour
market participation of women, starting with youth policies.
7 ‘Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now’, OECD publication, December 2012.
8 The EU-21 countries does not include Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria and Romania.
9
2.2. Starting fragile: young men and young womens economic
independence at stake
The current crisis has particularly hit young people, who are facing unemployment and discour-
agement. As a consequence, in 2011, the rate of people Not in Employment, Education or Training
(NEET) reached 17.5 % among young women (15-29 years old) and 13.4 % among young men
in the EU-27. The NEET rate among young women is higher than 20 % in 8 Member States
(see Figure 4). Young women are more likely than young men to be not in employment,
education or training, mainly because they are more likely to be out of the labour force
(or inactive).
Among the NEET group, 42.4 % of young men are involved in active labour market measures, while
only 32.6 % of young women are. The share of young men is especially higher in training (59.5 %
of young beneficiaries) and start-up incentives (62.9 %). Furthermore, women are underrepresented
in apprenticeship schemes to facilitate school-to-work transition. All in all they seem to benefit less
from public support in many Member States (training programmes, apprenticeships, etc.)
9
.
9 ‘Starting fragile: gender differences in the youth labour market’, report prepared for the European Commission
by the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality.
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
% of population aged 20-64
Employment rate of men
Share of men working part-time
Employment rate of women Share of women working part-time
Figure 3: Employment rate and part-time employment rate of men and women in 2012
Source: Eurostat, LFS
EL MT IT ES RO HU SK PL IE BG BE EU-
27
CZ PT LU SI CY FR LV LT UK EE AT DE NL DK FI SE
10
Young men more frequently experience a successful transition path (i.e. ending with a permanent
contract). In contrast, young women are more likely to be part-time and temporary workers
10
and
to start in the doubly fragile position of a temporary, part-time job.
Based on this evidence, the Youth Employment Package adopted in December 2012 by the
European Commission
11
recognised the need for more gender-sensitive youth policies and pro-
posed a Council Recommendation for a ‘Youth Guarantee’
12
, paying attention to the gender and
diversity of the young people targeted.
10 ‘Starting fragile: gender differences in the youth labour market’, report prepared for the European Commission
by the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality.
11 Communication ‘Moving Youth into Employment’, COM(2012)727.
12 Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Establishing a Youth Guarantee, COM(2012) 729 final, available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&newsId=1731
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
percent
Unemployed women
Male
Inactive women
percent
Unemployed persons
Inactive persons Luxemburg: data not available for males
Unemployed men
Inactive men
Figure 4: NEET rate by type and by sex for youth aged 15-29, 2011 (%)
*Luxembourg: data not available for males
**Malta: Total NEET rate
Source: ENEGE’s calculation, based on yearly microdata ELFS, average 2009/2010
*Luxembourg: data not available for males
**Malta: Total NEET rate
Source: ENEGE’s calculation, based on yearly microdata ELFS
EL BG IT RO SK HU IE ES LV PL UK EU-
27
CZ EE FR BE CY PT MT** LT DE FI AT SI SE LU* DK NL
BG IE ES IT EL LV LT RO SK CY HU EU-
27
PT EE UK FR PL BE SI MT FI DE CZ SE DK AT NL
11
2.3. Reconciling work and family life – asnapshot
oftheattainment of the Barcelona targets
The ability of Member States to significantly increase sustainable employment rates and decrease
gender gaps depends, among other things, on the ability of women and men to reconcile their pro-
fessional and private lives. The availability of childcare services is crucial in this regard. Recognising
this crucial role, the European Council in Barcelona set what is known as the ‘Barcelona target’: (...)
Member States should strive (...) to provide childcare by 2010 to at least 90 % of children between
3 years old and the mandatory school age and at least 33 % of children under 3 years of age’
13
.
Although some progress has been made since 2002, and despite the commitment of Member
States in two successive European pacts for equality between women and men
14
, the provision
of childcare facilities in the EU was still short of these targets in 2010
15
.
While 10 EU Member States have reached the Barcelona targets for the first age group in
2011, the majority of Member States have yet to make any substantial effort to meet the targets
(see Figure 5). This is particularly the case in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, whose cov-
erage rate is less than 5 %.
The use of formal childcare increases with the age of children. In the category of children aged
from 3 to mandatory school age
16
, 9 Member States reached the target of 90 % coverage
in 2011. More worrying, the coverage rate has significantly decreased between 2010 and 2011
in several countries. It is also important to note that for some countries, even if the targets are
met, the use of formal childcare is mainly part-time so does not cover a full week of work. The
Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom are examples where part-time childcare places
may be for less than 20 hours.
Formal childcare services can only help parents enter and stay in employment if they
are affordable. However, the price of these services is considered an obstacle for 53 % of
mothers who do not work or work part-time on account of childcare
17
. This is particularly the case
in Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania and the UK where the price is an obstacle for more than
70 % of mothers who do not work or work part-time on account of childcare. The net costs of
childcare services may in fact represent more than 41 % of net income in a household where
both parents work
18
in the UK and Ireland
19
.
13 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/71025.pdf
14 http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2011:155:0010:0013:EN:PDF
15 A Commission report giving a detailed analysis will be adopted in May 2013.
16 Mandatory school age differs from country to country: from 4 to 7 years.
17 Sources LFS ad-hoc module 2010. Twenty-three percent of women whose youngest child is under three and 18 % of
women whose youngest child is between 3 and mandatory school age work part-time or do not work for childcare reasons.
18 Where the partner earns the average wage and the female partner earns 50 % of the average wage.
19 OECD Doing better for families 2011.
12
0
20
40
60
80
0
20
40
60
80
100
percent
1 to 29 h
30 h and more
33 %
90 %
percent
1 to 29 h
30 h and more
Figure 5: Percentage of children cared for under formal arrangements by weekly time spent in care, 2011
Children up to three years of age
Children from three years of age to mandatory school age
Sources: Eurostat, EU-SILC, 2011.
Note: A number of data points are computed based on small samples and are not considered statistically reliable.
These include for first age category: AT, BG, CY CZ, EL, HR, LT, MT, PL, RO, SK.
Breakdowns by weekly time spent in care are laid down on a indicative basis.
DK NL SE LU FR ES BE SI UK PT EU-
27
FI IT DE CY IE GR EE LV AT MT HU LT BG CZ SK PL RO
DK BE SE IT FR UK SI EE DE NL ES AT EU-
27
IE PT FI SK HU EL CZ MT LU LV CY LT BG PL RO
13
In addition, the quality of services remains uneven and difficult to measure
20
. Some indi-
cators of the structural quality
21
of formal childcare services show a strong variation from one
country to another. Regarding the competences of child carers, research and international policy
documents recommend that early-childhood education and care professionals should be trained
at bachelor level (ISCED 5) with at least 60 % of the workforce trained at this level. However,
formal competence requirements vary widely from one country to another. In addition, in most
EU countries competence requirements for auxiliaries or assistants, who provide up to 40-50 %
of the workforce, are often overlooked. Assistants are likely to have little or no initial training and
limited access to vocational training, while the ‘educators’ (who are already highly qualified in
many cases) are able to benefit from such opportunities. Moreover working conditions in the area
of childcare remain precarious in most countries.
The above comparative evidence, together with more country-specific analysis as part of the
‘European Semester’ round of economic coordination, provides the basis for country-specific
recommendations addressed to nine Member States (Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany,
Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and the United Kingdom) on female employment and on
childcare availability/quality and/or full-day school places. Seven of these countries had already
received a recommendation in 2011, while Malta and Slovakia received a recommendation for
the first time in 2012.
The Commission will continue to support the development of affordable, accessible and quality child-
care services throughout the European Semester, in line with the Annual Growth Survey 2013
22
.
The sole development of childcare facilities is not enough to enable women and men to exer-
cise their choice in how to balance work with their family and private life and does not account
for the difficulties encountered at different stages of life. A reconciliation policy mix compris-
ing flexible work arrangements, a system of family leave, including strong incentives for
fathers to take on more family responsibility and the provision of affordable and quality care (for
preschool children but also for pre-teen children in school and outside school hours and for other
dependants) should be promoted.
20 See http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/childhood_en.htm; Quality is also at the heart
of the OECD series ‘Start Strong III’.
21 Often, a distinction is made between structural and process quality. Process quality refers to the childcare
environment in which children play, learn and experience teacher-child interaction. Comparative data are rarely
available. In contrast, structural quality refers to structural features of childcare that can be regulated by (local)
government. Throughout Europe, group sizes range on average from 10 to 14 children for 0-3 year-olds and from
20 to 25 children for 4-6 year-olds. Child-minders usually have a maximum of four to eight children. The staff-child
ratio has been decreasing over the past years in some countries (ES, SK, LI), while in other Member States the
opposite can be observed, e.g. in Sweden, where the average group size has been growing over the past years,
or in Poland, where the maximum group size is not yet regulated.
22 Communication ‘Annual Growth Survey 2013’, COM(2012) 750: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/ags2013_en.pdf
14
Directive 2010/18/EU on Parental Leave had to be transposed in the Member States by 8 March
2012. It gives each working parent the right to at least four months leave after the birth or adop-
tion of a child (previously up to three months). At least one of the four months cannot be trans-
ferred to the other parent meaning it will be lost if not taken offering incentives to fathers to
take the leave.
The research on ‘The role of men’
23
shows men’s increasing desire to contribute to family life and,
actually, a growing participation in caring for own children in some countries. While some posi-
tive trends are documented, the persisting inequality in the take-up of unpaid care activities
between women and men restricts the ability of women to engage fully in paid employment
24
.
The new Directive on Parental Leave also provides for better protection against discrimination
and a smoother return to work. Member States could request an additional year to comply with
the Directive. 6 Member States have requested an extension and have until 8 March 2013 to
transpose the requirement of this Directive into their national law. After this extended transpo-
sition deadline has expired the Commission will start a comprehensive monitoring exercise on
whether the implementing measures are in conformity with the Directive.
In 2012, discussions in the Council on the Commission proposal for a revised maternity leave
Directive which the Commission proposed in 2008 continued. The proposal is aiming to amend
the current provisions of Directive 92/85/EEC on maternity protection. The most important ele-
ments of the Commission proposal are to increase maternity leave from 14 to 18 weeks, to allow
women to choose more freely if they want to take maternity leave already before the birth (thus
no obligatory periods before birth), an obligatory leave of six weeks after birth, to improve pro-
tection against dismissal and to allow the women to ask for changes in their working conditions.
Negotiations remain very difficult given the diametrically opposed positions of Council and the
European Parliament but the Commission has tried and will continue to try to help broker a com-
promise that represents tangible progress for pregnant workers.
23 Study on ‘The role of men in gender equality’, prepared for the European Commission, edited by Elli Scambor,
Katarzyna Wojnicka, Nadja Bergmann, Consortium led by L&R Social Research, 2012.
24 ‘Closing the Gender Gap: Act Now’, OECD publication, December 2012.
15
3. Equal pay for equal work and
workof equal value
The root causes of the gender pay gap are well-known: in addition to direct discrimination, women
face sector and occupation segregation, undervaluation of their work, and unequal sharing of
caring responsibilities. These gender inequalities on the labour market mirror gender segregation
and differences in the education and training system (3.1), but recent trends in education and
equal pay policy have probably helped reduce the gender pay gap (3.2). However the gender
employment and pay gaps still have major consequences for earnings and women’s contribu-
tion to household income (3.3), pensions (3.4) and poverty (3.5). Special attention is paid to vul-
nerable groups: migrant and minorities (3.6).
3.1. Gender gaps in education and research:
the root ofsegregation and pay inequalities
3.1.1 Gender imbalances in education
During the last decade, educational attainment has increased for both men and women in the EU
(see Figure 6).
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
percent
Figure 6: Early leavers from education and training (18-24 years old) and higher education attainment
(30-34 years old) by sex, 2012
Higher education attainment (women)
Higher education attainment (men)
Early leavers from education and training (women)
Early leavers from education and training (men)
Source: Eurostat, LFS
40.0
31.6
14.5
11.0
16
The Danish 2012 National gender equality plan
explicitly addresses gender segregation in educa-
tion and training. There is also a specific focus on
‘failing boys’: in January 2012, the Minister for
Gender Equality launched a fund (twenty million
Danish kroner in total) to support projects and
research on breaking down gender-segregated
educational choices and enhancing knowledge on
how to recruit and maintain boys within the educa-
tional system.
In Spain, the Ministry of Education has taken action
to fight gender stereotypes in education and in
future employment and career-specific pro-
grammes and measures to promote coeducation
by: i) fostering the design and implementation of
non-sexist orientation programmes through differ-
ent awareness-raising campaigns at school;
ii) re-formulating teaching materials to ensure that
they meet equality and non-discriminatory criteria;
iii) implementing coeducation at schools and train-
ing teachers in coeducation, gender violence pre-
vention and gender equality; iv) ensuring gender
mainstreaming in sports activities at schools;
v) improving school services in order to accommo-
date student diversity (ethnic and gender) and
ensure equality.
By 2012, the proportion of early school-leavers had decreased among both boys and girls to 14.5 %
and 11 %, respectively. At the same time, the share of young people with higher education
massively increased, with the increase among women almost twice as high as that of
men. In 2012, 31.6 % of all men and 40 % of all women (EU-27) between 30 and 34 years of age
had attained tertiary education. Nowadays women constitute 60 % of new graduates.
However, girls are less likely to choose scientific or technological fields of study. Figures are tell-
ing in this regard. Three quarters of the students in engineering, manufacturing and construction-
related studies were male. Male graduates also outnumber female graduates in science,
mathematics and computing. In contrast, female graduates largely outnumber male graduates
in fields such as social sciences, business, law, welfare and health.
Already at the age of 16, girls outperform boys in reading – the difference is equivalent to one year
of schooling but lag behind in mathematics, albeit to a lesser extent than boys in reading
25
.
Policies, in particular education and training policies, can try to tackle gender inequalities at an
early stage and so ensure that all boys and girls can realise their potential and choose the field they
are good at, without being limited by prejudice. Many countries have tried to remove gender bias in
curricula and decided to share their experience in a seminar that took place in October 2012
26
.
3.1.2 Gender equality in research
Despite noticeable progress, gender inequalities in science and in research still persist. According
to the last edition of She Figures, women’s academic career remains markedly character-
ised by strong vertical segregation: in 2010, the proportion of female students and gradu-
ates exceeded that of male students, but the proportion of female PhD students dropped back
to 49 % and that of PhD degree holders to 46 %. Furthermore, the percentage of female research-
ers in Europe stands at 33 % while women represent only 20 % of the highest grade in academic
staff. Gender balance in decision-making bodies and processes is thus far from being achieved.
On average in the EU-27 there is only about one woman for every two men in scientific and man-
agement boards, and the proportion of women heads of universities or assimilated institutions
is even lower, standing at 11 %
27
. In addition, research programmes often fail to take adequately
into account the gender dimension.
25 As shown by the OECD’s PISA survey.
26 http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/tools/good-practices/index_en.htm
27 The European Commission publishes a new edition of the She Figures every three years since 2003.
The She Figures 2012 booklet and leaflet were uploaded on the European Commission website:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/she_figures_2012_en.pdf
17
Against this backdrop the Communication on the European Research Area adopted by the
European Commission in 2012 includes gender equality and gender mainstreaming in
research institutions, as one of its five priorities. The aim is (i) to remove legal and other bar-
riers to the recruitment, retention and career progression of female researchers while fully com-
plying with EU law on gender equality; (ii) to address gender imbalances in decision making
processes and (iii) to strengthen the gender dimension in research programmes. In addition, the
European Commission launched a communication campaign to get more girls interested in sci-
ence and encourage more women to choose research as a career
28
.
3.2. Closing the Gender Pay Gap
The unadjusted gender pay gap (GPG)
29
stood at 16.2 % in 2011 in the EU as a whole. It is higher
than 20 % in Estonia, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany and Greece (see Figure 7).
28 http://science-girl-thing.eu/en/splash
29 The unadjusted GPG represents the difference between average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees and
of female paid employees as a percentage of average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
percent
Figure 7: The gender pay gap in 2008 and in 2011
2008
27
24
22
21
21
20
18
18
18
16
16
16
16
16
15
14
14
13
13
12
12
12
10
9
6
5
2
2011
Source: Eurostat, Structure of Earnings Survey, 2010 data for Ireland
EE AT DE CZ SK UK FI HU NL DK CY EU ES SE FR IE LV BG MT PT RO LT BE LU IT PL SI
18
However the GPG has narrowed since 2008 from 17.3 % (1.1 percentage points in three years)
in the EU as a whole. The decline is also documented in 17 out of 25 Member States for which
data are available (see annex). The reasons for this recent slight decline in the GPG are still
debated and four hypotheses have been suggested so far:
• the share of higher educated workers has increased among the female workforce more than
among the male workforce. These trends in education might start to decrease the gender
pay gap
30
;
• the change in the sectoral composition of the workforce during the crisis could have reduced
the GPG. Indeed, the manufacturing sector, traditionally characterised by a high GPG, lost
ground at the beginning of the crisis;
• a larger cut in additional components of men’s pay packets (premiums for overtime) has
contributed to reducing gender inequalities
31
;
• equal pay policies at national and European level have contributed to the decline. Cooperation
with social partners and increasing awareness in companies of equal pay policies as a part of
gender-aware human resources policies are another possible reason for the decrease of the GPG.
As information on pay equality is key to address the GPG, the European Commission held the
second European Equal Pay Day on 2 March 2012. The European Commission will continue to
raise awareness of the unequal pay conditions women face in the EU by marking the European
Equal Pay Day and enhancing partnerships with Member States.
Companies and employers are key players in tackling the GPG. To support equal pay initiatives
at the workplace, the Commission started the ‘Equality Pays Off’
32
project in 2012. The pur-
pose of the project is to support companies in their efforts to tackle the GPG by providing train-
ing for companies and by organising exchanges of good practices between companies on
actions to foster gender equality.
The European Parliament resolution of 24 May 2012 on application of the principle of equal
pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value
33
presents some action pro-
posals addressed to the Commission, Member States, social partners and other stakeholders, includ-
ing companies. Some of these requests are to review current legislation (Directive 2006/54, the recast
directive) in relation to the gender pay gap issue and to continue with awareness-raising campaigns,
including providing adequate information on the burden of proof. The resolution also encourages the
30 ‘EU Employment and Social Situation. Quarterly Review. December 2012’, with special focus on the gender pay gap.
31 See ‘The impact of the economic crisis on the situation of women and men and on gender equality policies’, report
of the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality, commissioned by the European Commission, December
2012. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/documents/enege_crisis_report__
dec_2012_final_en.pdf. The bonuses are not included in the Eurostat definition of the Gender Pay Gap.
32 See also the project website: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/equality-pays-off/
33 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=- %2f %2fEP %2f %2fTEXT %2bTA
%2bP7-TA-2012-0225 %2b0 %2bDOC %2bXML %2bV0 %2f %2fEN&language=EN
On 8 March 2012, the Belgian parliament adopted
a law to reduce the gender pay gap. Under this
law, differences in pay and labour costs between
men and women should figure in companies’
annual audits (‘bilan social’) and therefore will be
publicly available. Moreover, the new law stipulates
that firms with over 50 workers will be obliged to
produce an action plan when the analysis shows
that women earn less than men. Finally, if discrimi-
nation is suspected, women can turn to their firm’s
mediator, who will determine whether there is
indeed a pay differential and, if so, will try to find
a compromise with the employer. Besides legisla-
tive action, policies have been developed to tackle
the key question of pay differentials: several train-
ing programmes, an implementation guide and
check-list of gender neutrality to be used by pri-
vate and public employers. Through inter-industry
agreements, the social partners are encour-
aged to adopt a gender-neutral approach to job
classification.
Equal Pay Day was celebrated on 19 April 2012
by some public activities in Estonia. In July 2012
the Government approved the action plan to reduce
the gender pay gap. It includes five main types of
actions: (1) improving the implementation of the
existing Gender Equality Act (e.g. improving the col-
lection of statistics, awareness raising, supporting
the work of the Gender Equality and Equal
Treatment Commissioner etc.); (2) improving the
scope for reconciling family, work and private life
(e.g. working with employers); (3) gender main-
streaming, especially in the field of education;
(4) reducing gender segregation; and (5) analysing
organisational practices and pay systems in the
public sector, improving the situation where
necessary.
19
social partners and Member States to undertake job evaluation schemes free from gender bias, to
implement job classification systems, and to foster the concept of work based on equal pay.
Despite some progress the GPG is still very high in some countries and it has increased in coun-
tries where it was relatively lower (Portugal, Bulgaria, and Ireland, for example). Fiscal consoli-
dation, including wage freezes or wage cuts in the public sector, with a majority of female
employees, might deepen the GPG in the future and reverse the current trends
34
.
3.3. Womens earnings are playing amore critical role
inhousehold income
Gender pay gaps are even wider in terms of annual earnings, because women receive lower
hourly wages than men and also work fewer hours per year. Yet the household relies more
and more on women’s earnings, which should no longer be seen as auxiliary income.
Women are increasingly the bread-winners in the household, not least because they live alone
(18 % of households) or live with children but no partner (4 % of households) (see Figure 8).
34 However the current indicator used to measure pay inequalities cannot fully reflect the trend in public sector’s wages
and its potential consequence on the gender pay gap. Firstly the data does not cover public administration (though
it covers education and health sector). Secondly, data available in 2012 cover pays in 2010 and cannot completely
grasp the effect of fiscal consolidation policies that started in 2010 in most countries.
1 % 4 %
27 %
37 %
14 %
18 %
Source: Eurostat, LFS. If more than two adults live in the households (for example if a grandparent live in the household),
the household is included in the category ‘2+ adults’.
Figure 8: Type of household in the EU-27
1 adult man + child 1 adult woman + child
2+ adults + child
2+ adults without children
single man without children
single woman without children
20
The proportion of female-breadwinner couples also increased significantly in 2008 and 2009.
Moreover, dual-earner couples represent two thirds of all working-age couples with at least one
member working according to data made available in 2012 (see Figure 9).
In many countries, however, women still constitute the second earner in the couple and the tax-
ation system does not give sufficient incentives for them to work. In 2012, a country-specific
recommendation on fiscal incentives for second earners was addressed to two countries, and
the 2013 Annual Growth Survey
35
recalled the importance of removing fiscal disincen-
tives for second earners.
3.4. Gender gaps in pensions
Gender inequality in old age has more to do with differences in labour market histories than with
pension systems. Due to the higher prevalence of part-time working and career interruption
among women, the gender earnings gaps are wide over careers. As most pension systems base
their pension calculations on career earnings, the gaps can be very high.
35 Communication ‘Annual Growth Survey 2013’, COM(2012) 750: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/ags2013_en.pdf
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
percent
Woman has no earnings
Woman earns less than man
Equality in earnings
Woman earns more than man Woman the only earner
Figure 9: Couples by partner’s earning role in 2009
Source: EU-SILC, 2010, ENEGE calculation
MT NL AT LU IT DE CZ EL ES BE UK IS NO PL SK RO FR PT EE FI SE HU BG LV DK SI LT
21
However, the design of a pension system matters because it can reproduce, exacerbate or
mitigate gender disparities in employment. It matters for example whether there is a minimum
pension or an adequate survivor pension for those with incomplete careers who have not earned
full pension entitlements, mostly women. Some mechanisms help to compensate women in retire-
ment for their career interruptions to care for children. However, they cannot fully bridge the gap
caused by career breaks.
Gender pension gaps are considerably wider than pay gaps. The average pension gap is 39 %,
more than twice as large as the gender pay gap of 16 %
36
. Moreover, the analysis shows
that in most Member States, a sizable gap cannot be easily explained by differences in the
observable characteristics of women and men (education age, length of working career, mar-
riage status and weight of pension income from third pillar). This highlights that better under-
standing the causes of the gap remains an important policy challenge. The report also finds that
in some Member States, more than a third of women have no pension. In others, the number of
women with no pension is closer to one in ten.
Women’s statutory pension ages are still below men’s in several Member States, although
most have planned or already adopted legislation to gradually bring them into line with men’s
pension ages. In 2012, a country-specific recommendation to harmonise pensionable ages and
rights was addressed to three Member States
37
.
Furthermore, policies need to support the extension of working life. The employment rate of
women aged 55 to 64 was 40.2 % in 2011 compared to 55.2 % for men. This shows the mag-
nitude of the challenge to extend working lives. There are gender-specific obstacles to, but also
opportunities for, extending working lives.
The White Paper on adequate, safe and sustainable pensions adopted by the Commission
on 16 February 2012
38
puts forward a range of initiatives, including encouraging Member States
to promote longer working lives and closing the pensions gap between men and women. The
Commission will also step up its support for policy coordination and joint work on enabling and
encouraging older workers, women in particular, to stay longer on the labour market.
36 ‘The Gender Gap in Pension in the EU’, report prepared for the European Commission by the European Network
of Experts on Gender Equality (ENEGE), 2013.
37 Bulgaria, Austria and Slovenia. On 4 December 2012, the Slovenian National Assembly passed a pension reform
which will gradually lead to the equalisation of the retirement age for women and men.
38 White paper ‘An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions’, COM(2012) 55:
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&newsId=1194&furtherNews=yes
22
3.5. Women still face ahigher risk of poverty and exclusion
In almost all countries, women face a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion, as meas-
ured by the indicators agreed within Europe 2020
39
: 55.7 million (23 %) of men experienced
poverty and exclusion whereas 63.8 million (25.2 %) of women were in this situation in the European
Union in 2011.
A considerable increase in the risk of poverty is visible in the last two years for which data are avail-
able (2010 and 2011). Recent years are also characterised by a slight decrease in the gender gap
to 2.2 pp in 2011, from 3 pp in 2007. The reason for this narrowing of the gap may be that the cri-
sis has had a different impact on men and women, as described at the beginning of the report.
39 The Conclusions of the June 2011 European Council set lifting at least 20 million Europeans out of poverty or social
exclusion by 2020 as a headline target for the EU. The concept of ‘poverty’ or ‘social exclusion’ refers both to relative
income poverty (i.e. a value relative to the median population income in order to better capture poverty as a social
and historically contingent phenomenon) and to a multidimensional phenomenon encompassing other domains of
social inclusion – namely labour market attachment and access to a number of goods or services. Thus, people are
at risk of poverty or social exclusion if they are at risk of poverty (i.e. earn an equivalent disposable income lower
than 60 % of median equivalent income), are severely materially deprived (i.e. cannot obtain certain items in
a pre-defined list), and/or live in a household with no or very low work intensity.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
24.3
26.9
26.6
23.8
22.9
25.9
25.0
24.4
21.8
22.4
24.6
25.2
23.0
22.1
percent
Figure 10: The risk of poverty and social exclusion, EU-27, 2005-2011 (%)
Men
Women
Source: Eurostat, EU-SILC
Note: The ‘people at risk of poverty or social exclusion’ rate is the headline indicator for the EU2020 Strategy poverty target.
It reflects the share of the population which is either at risk of poverty or severely materially deprived or lives in a household
with very low work intensity.
23
The Annual Growth Survey 2013
40
underlines that single-parent households (mainly women)
represent a group particularly affected by poverty. The risk of poverty is also significantly higher
among elderly women over 75 (20.1 % as against 16.9 % of the total population). Inactive and
unemployed women and men of working age also face a high risk of poverty. This risk also affects
self-employed and family workers (see Figure 11).
To improve the situation of women who are self-employed workers or the spouses of the self-
employed workers, Member States had to transpose Directive 2010/41/EU on the equal treat-
ment of men and women who are engaged in or contribute to an activity in a self-employed
capacity by August 5, 2012. The Directive prohibits discrimination on grounds of sex in this area
40 Communication ‘Annual Growth Survey 2013’, COM(2012) 750: http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/ags2013_en.pdf
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
percent
Figure 11: The risk of poverty and social exclusion among different groups, EU-27 (%)
Men
Women
No gender breakdown available
Source: Eurostat, EU SILC (EU 27 estimates for 2011). Note: The reference period for income and activity status
for IE and UK differs from that for the other countries (where it refers to the previous year).
Note: The at-risk-of-poverty rate reflects the percentage of people with an equivalised disposable income
below the ‘at-risk-of-poverty threshold’. The at-risk-of poverty threshold is set for each country
at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income.
Risk of poverty
Persistent Risk of poverty (2010)
Risk of poverty among 75+
Singles, no child
Singles with children
Employed
Self-employed and family workers
Unemployed
24
and aims to ensure that the spouses of self-employed workers have access to social security
schemes. It also introduces maternity benefits enabling interruptions of the activities of women
who are self-employed workers or the spouses of self-employed workers of at least 14 weeks.
Member States could request an additional year to comply with specific provisions of the
Directive. 5 Member States have requested an extension for transposition. The Commission is
checking compliance with the obligation to communicate the national transposition measures
completely or (for the Member States that have requested an extension) partially. A comprehen-
sive monitoring of the correctness of transposition in all Member States will be carried out after
the expiration of the extended transposition deadlines.
3.6. Migrants and minorities: fragility and empowerment
At EU level the risk of poverty or social exclusion is much higher among female and male migrants
from a non-EU country (respectively 36 % and 34 %). Non-EU-born female migrants are also less
likely to be employed. If employed, they are very likely to be over-qualified for the work they do.
Table 1: Employment, over-qualification and poverty among migrants and total population, EU-27 ( %) in 2010
Total
population
Foreign-
born
Of which
EU born
Non-EU
born
Employment rate –
Men (20-64 years old)
75 73 77 71
Employment rate –
Women (20-64 years old)
62 56 62 53
Overqualification rate – Men 21 30 23 34
Overqualification rate – Women 22 36 31 39
At risk of poverty
or social exclusion – Men
22 28 18 34
At risk of poverty
or social exclusion – Women
24 31 23 36
Note: The overqualification rate is defined as the proportion of the population with a high educational level (i.e. having completed tertiary
education, ISCED 5 or 6), and having low- or medium-skilled jobs (ISCO occupation levels 4 to 9) among employed persons having attained
a high educational level.
Data are scarce about minorities in Europe, and therefore about gender differences among minor-
ities, including among the Roma, who constitute the largest minority in Europe. However the gen-
der dimension of the problems faced by Roma communities is increasingly recognised.
In its assessment of national Roma Integration Strategies presented in 2012, the Commis-
sion noted that several strategies ‘devote specific attention to the situation of Roma women, even
25
though additional efforts are needed to enable them to exercise their rights’
41
Roma women often
face multiple forms of discrimination including within their own communities. Poverty, lack of edu-
cation, early marriage, domestic violence and exploitation typify their poor status in our societies. Many
of them become victims of human trafficking, sexual abuse and enforced prostitution. Therefore, it is
important to take appropriate preventive measures, including awareness-raising campaigns, where
relevant in cooperation with NGOs, to provide Roma women victims with specific assistance and
facilitate their access to victim protection services. Roma women deserve to be respected, but their
empowerment is also crucial for improving the difficult situations of whole families. As primary car-
egivers, they have a direct impact on the lives of their children (e.g. the role of Roma mothers in pro-
moting the education of children as well as raising awareness of family health).
4. Equality in decision-making
Comparable European data have been available on gender balance in economic decision-mak-
ing (4.1) and in political decision-making (4.2) since 2003, showing slow progress until recently
42
.
For the first time this year, additional data are available on gender balance in the environment
and energy at the highest decision-making level.
4.1. Promoting gender balance on boards of companies listed
onstock exchanges
As a matter of basic equality, women and men should have the same opportunities to reach
leadership positions. This principle is set out in the European Commission Strategy for Equality
between Women and Men (see 2010-2015)
43
. In addition, there is a well-established economic
and business case for gender balance in business leadership
44
. Nevertheless, data collected by
the European Commission in October 2012 (see Figure 12) show that the average share of
women on the top-level boards of the largest publicly listed companies around the EU
stands at just 15.8 %
45
. Women are also barely visible among the top business leaders of these
companies – 97 % company presidents (board) are men.
41 National Roma Integration Strategies: a first step in the implementation of the EU Framework, COM(2012) 226.
42 The data on women and men in decision-making are regularly updated the following website:
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/gender-decision-making/database/index_en.htm
43 COM(2010) 491 final.
44 ‘Women in economic decision-making in the EU: Progress report’: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/
gender-equality/opinion/files/120528/women_on_board_progress_report_en.pdf
45 The data cover the largest publicly listed companies. The ‘largest’ companies are taken to be the members (max.50)
of the primary blue-chip index, which is a stock-exchange index of the largest companies by market capitalisation
and/or market trades. Only companies which are registered in the country concerned are counted. Board members
covered: in countries with unitary (one-tier) systems, the board of directors is counted (including non-executive and
executive members). In countries with two-tier systems, only the supervisory board is counted.
26
Compared to previous years, though, the percentage is higher and is improving at a faster rate:
a rise of 4 percentage points was recorded from October 2010 (11.8 %), see Figure 13.
This improvement can be linked to an intensive public debate initiated by the Commission and
supported by the European Parliament, and to concrete initiatives in a number of Member
States. At present, eleven Member States have adopted some form of legislative or administrative
regulation to improve gender balance in private and/or state-owned companies (Austria, Belgium,
Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain).
It is clear that the rate of improvement in individual Member States has been uneven and self-
regulatory initiatives have not made enough progress. Therefore, after a public consultation and
following the request of the European Parliament, the Commission took a pro-active approach
to accelerate progress towards gender balance on the boards of listed companies.
The proposal for a Directive on improving the gender balance among non-executive direc-
tors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures
46
sets a minimum tar-
get of 40 % of the under-represented sex among non-executive directors on boards of large
listed companies, to be achieved by 2020 (2018 for listed companies that are public undertak-
ings). It obliges companies with a lower percentage (40 %) to make appointments to those posi-
tions on the basis of a comparative analysis of the qualifications of each candidate, by applying
pre-established, clear, neutrally formulated and unambiguous criteria, in order to meet the 40 %
target. Member States have to implement effective and dissuasive sanctions. With regard to
executive directors, listed companies are required to set their own commitments, to be met within
the same timeframe as the target for non-executive directors.
The reasons for the under-representation of women in senior positions are multiple and call for
a comprehensive approach to tackle the problem. They stem, among other things, from tradi-
tional gender roles and stereotypes, the lack of support for women and men to balance care
responsibilities with work and the lack of transparency in recruitment and promotion practices.
Therefore, the Commission proposes to complement the proposed legislation with policy meas-
ures to fight the roots of gender imbalance. It will work in partnership with governments and
relevant stakeholders
47
.
46 COM(2012) 614 final of 14.11.2012.
47 Communication on ‘Gender balance in business leadership: a contribution to smart, sustainable and inclusive
growth’. COM(2012) 615 final.
27
48
48 http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/gender-decision-making/database/business-finance/
quoted-companies/index_en.htm
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
percent
Figure 12: Gender balance on company boards, October 2012
Men
Women
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
48
MT HU PT CY EE EL IE LU IT BG PL AT RO ES BE SK EU-
27
CZ LT DE SI UK DK NL FR SE LV FI
-10
-5
0
5
10
15
percent
Figure 13: Percentage point change in the share of women on boards, Oct 2010 – Oct 2012
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
RO SK HU SE PL IE BG EE MT EL PT BE FI ES DK AT CY EU-
27
CZ LV LT DE UK LU IT NL SI FR
28
In Ireland the situation may change, since an impor-
tant piece of legislation was introduced in 2012:
political parties that do not include at least 30 % of
women on their lists for the next parliamentary elec-
tion will lose half of their state funding for the entire
duration of the legislature. The level will be raised to
40 % in 2019.
4.2. Gender balance in political decision-making:
still achallenge for many Member States
4.2.1 Elected representatives: gender imbalance in many parliaments
Gender-balanced representation in political governance is a cornerstone of an accountable
democracy and a key condition for gender equality in society at large. Despite the fact that
elected representatives should reflect the composition of the population they represent, pro-
gress towards this aim has been slow (see Figure 14). In 2012, three out of four members of
the single/lower houses of national parliaments across the EU were men.
In the last quarter of 2012, only national parliaments in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Belgium
had a balanced representation with at least 40 % of each gender. The Netherlands, Slovenia,
Spain and Germany are the only other countries where the proportion of women members has
surpassed the critical mass of 30 %.
At EU level there has been little progress over the past decade, with the share of women rising
just 4 percentage points from 22 % in 2003 to 26 % in 2012. However, significant progress
has been made in some countries, notably Slovenia, followed by France, Greece, Italy, Portugal
and Spain. Four of the six countries demonstrating progress have a mandatory electoral quota
system: Slovenia, France, Spain and Portugal.
0
10
20
30
40
50
percent
Figure 14: Percentage of women in national parliaments (single/lower houses) in 2003 and 2012
2003
9 %
9 %
11 %
12 %
15 %
19 %
21 % 21 % 21 %
22 %
22 %
23 %
23 %
23 %
24 %
24 %
26 %
28 %
29 %
33 %
38 %
39 %
39 %
40 %
41 %
43 %
44 %
2012
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
Note: 2003 data for CZ, PL, MT, and LT refer to 2004 (data not collected in 2003)
MT HU CY RO IE SK EL IT EE CZ UK LV LU BG PL LT FR AT PT DE SI ES NL BE DK FI SE
29
Action to improve female representation at local
level has been taken in Italy: in November 2012,
a law was passed requiring municipal and provin-
cial councils to have lists with no more than two
thirds of one gender, and a double preference sys-
tem (which allows for the possibility of expressing
a preference for a male and a female candidate) is
to be introduced. The impact of the law has yet to
be tested in future elections.
Experience at regional and local level is considered an important stepping stone to political par-
ticipation at national level. At EU level, women account for 32 % of both regional and local
assemblies
49
compared to 26 % in national parliaments.
The level of female representation in regional assemblies is above 40 % in four Member States
(France, Spain, Finland and Sweden) and over 30 % in six more (the UK, Austria, the Netherlands,
Germany, Denmark, and Belgium). However, levels of 15 % or less persist in Hungary, Italy, and
Romania. In many countries, the levels of female representation in local or regional assemblies
are quite close to that in the national parliament.
At local level, balanced representation (at least 40 % of each gender) is found only in Sweden
but women account for at least 30 % of local council members in the UK, Finland, Latvia, France,
Spain, Denmark, and Belgium.
4.2.2 Gender imbalance in most EU national governments
50
Across the EU, the gender balance among appointed members of national governments (73 % men,
27 % women) improved by just 3 percentage points between 2003 and 2012, though the situation
varies between Member States (see Figure 15, page 134). Five EU countries had governments
with at least 40 % of each gender in the fourth quarter of 2012: France, Austria, Denmark,
Finland and Sweden. Governments in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany are not far behind with
38 % women.
4.2.3 Women and men in decision-making positions on the environment
In the context of the regular monitoring process of the UN Beijing Platform for Action
51
, and under
the initiative of the Danish Presidency of the Council (first half of 2012), the Employment, Social
Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) adopted conclusions
52
highlighting the gen-
der perspective in dealing with environmental challenges. The document stresses the urgent
need to improve gender equality in decision-making bodies in the transport and energy sectors,
in scientific and technological occupations and in relevant high-level scientific bodies.
49 Data for regional assemblies are from the fourth quarter of 2012 while data for local assemblies were collected
between March and September 2011.
50 Data refer to ‘senior’ ministers (members of the government who have a seat in the cabinet/council of ministers).
51 http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/platform/
52 http://www.womenandtechnology.eu/digitalcity/servlet/PublishedFileServlet/
AAABTYHK/Council_Conclusions_on_gender-equality_and_environment.pdf
30
In the EU, the share of female senior and junior ministers with environmental portfolios
decreases when transport and energy are taken into account: 29.5 % of ministers in charge
of the environment were women in 2012 but this share drops to 19.6 % when transport and
energy responsibilities are included. Mirroring the situation at ministerial level, women are more
present at the top of the administrative hierarchy in ministries in charge of the environment and
climate change than in transport and energy policy.
5. Dignity, integrity and ending
gender-based violence:
a growing attention to apersisting issue
In 2012, all EU institutions again committed to a strong policy response to combat all forms of
violence against women and gender-based violence. All key EU players shared a common
approach, recognising violence against women as a violation of human rights and an obsta-
cle to gender equality. They contributed to major policy developments in the reinforcement of
victims’ right (5.1) and of a comprehensive set of policies and tools (including support to victims’,
reporting, data collection) under the Cypriot presidency (5.4) with a focus on female genital muti-
lation (5.2) and the human trafficking (5.3).
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
percent
Figure 15: Percentage of women in national governments (senior ministers) in 2003 and 2012
2003
6 %
7 %
8 %
8 %
9 %
13 % 13 %
13 %
16 %
17 %
17 %
18 %
19 %
20 %
24 %
27 %
29 %
29 %
33 %
38 % 38 %
38 %
43 %
43 %
47 %
49 %
54 %
2012
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
Note: 2003 data for CZ, PL, MT, and LT refer to 2004 (data not collected in 2003)
EL SK EE SI HU CZ IE LT IT PT UK MT RO PL BG LU ES LV CY NL BE DE AT DK FI FR SE
31
On 8 March the President of Romania promulgated
the changes made to law 217/2003 on preventing
and combating domestic violence. The law now
allows the victims of domestic violence to ask the
courts for a restraining order (or protection) against
the aggressor. The list of acts of domestic violence
now includes stinging, biting and pulling the victim’s
hair. It includes not only physical acts but also acts
of verbal, psychological, sexual, social and spiritual
violence, the authorities now being forced to respond
urgently to cases of domestic violence. The victim
has the right to a private life, dignity and respect of
personality, social protection, reintegration, free
social assistance and medical assistance.
A bill outlawing female genital mutilation has been
passed in Ireland. As well as prohibiting the practice,
the law includes the principle of extra-territoriality,
which makes it possible to prosecute the practice
also when it is committed abroad.
5.1. Reinforcing the rights of victims of crime
The Directive on minimum standards for victims of crime was adopted by the European
Parliament and the Council in 2012
53
. It includes the right to respect and recognition, the right to
provide and receive information and the right to protection. It also aims to ensure that the needs
of victims are individually assessed and that the most vulnerable, including victims of all forms
of gender-based violence, receive treatment appropriate to their requirements. This Directive
must be implemented at national level by 16 November 2015 at the latest.
The proposal for a Regulation on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters is
still under negotiation between the Council and the European Parliament. It aims to complement
the European Protection Order (which applies in criminal matters) adopted in December 2011.
These two instruments will ensure that protection measures issued in one Member State can be
recognised in another, following a speedy and efficient procedure, to avoid victims losing their
protection if they move or travel.
At UN level, the General Assembly adopted a resolution at the end of 2012 on ‘Intensification
of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women’
54
.
5.2. A strong stance against female genital mutilation (FGM)
On 13 June 2012, the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS)
made a joint declaration on FGM confirming their commitment before the European Parliament.
The day after, an almost unanimous European Parliament adopted a resolution on ending female
genital mutilation
55
, urging the Commission to make it a priority to end violence against women
and girls and the Member States to take firm action to combat this illegal practice.
At UN level, the General Assembly adopted in November 2012 a much anticipated resolution
aimed at ‘Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations’
56
.
53 Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the rights of victims
of crime establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing
Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA.
54 A/RES/67/144.
55 European Parliament Resolution of 14 June 2012 on ending female genital mutilation (2012/2684(RSP)), adopted
by 564 votes in favour, 0 against and 2 abstentions.
56 A/C.3/67/L.21/Rev.1.
32
5.3. Towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings
According to preliminary data collected by Eurostat, women and girls accounted for 79 % of the
total victims of trafficking in human beings and are used for sexual exploitation. On 19 June
2012, the European Commission adopted the ‘EU Strategy towards the Eradication of
Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016)’
57
focusing on concrete actions to support and
complement the implementation of the EU legislation on trafficking in human beings adopted
in 2011, namely Directive 2011/36/EU (deadline for transposition 6 April 2013).
5.4. Violence against women as akey priority
of the Cypriot presidency
The outcomes of the European Police College (CEPOL) Presidency Conference on ‘Overcoming
Attrition in Domestic Violence through Policing’ fed into a European Union handbook of good
police practices in overcoming attrition in domestic violence. The handbook calls on Member
States to aim to encourage ‘victims and witnesses to report (…) crimes to the authorities and to
contribute to their effective investigation and prosecution’.
An EU gender equality conference on violence against women held in Cyprus in November 2012
reviewed progress at EU level and good practice in Member States. The European Institute for Gender
Equality (EIGE)’s ‘Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member
States: Violence against Women, Victim Support’ was commissioned by the Cyprus presidency; it is
the first report to deliver a full set of comparable and reliable data on support services for women
victims of violence in the 27 EU Member States and Croatia. The findings indicate that specialised
services are insufficient and unequally distributed in and among the Member States. According to the
report, only 12 out of the 27 EU Member States legally foresee state funding of specialised services
for women victims of violence. Women shelters and helplines, possibly the most common support for
victims of domestic violence, are not in place and available everywhere.
On the basis of these findings the EPSCO Council adopted conclusions on Combating Violence
Against Women and the Provision of Support Services for Victims of Domestic Violence
on 6 December 2012. These conclusions reaffirm that neither custom, tradition, culture, privacy,
religion nor so-called honour can be invoked to justify violence against women, which is a violation
of human rights and the most brutal manifestation of gender inequality. They stress that it is impor-
tant to improve the protection of victims of violence, by providing adequate and sustainable sup-
port services and by implementing the newly adopted Directive 2012/29/EU establishing minimum
standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime as well as the European protec-
tion order in civil matters. They call for improving the registration and handling of complaints as
well as the collection and dissemination of data by Member States in this under-reported field.
57 COM(2012) 286: http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/entity.action?id=714114c7-cd42-46cf-85eb-c09d042c7181
33
They insist on the importance of collecting comparable EU data to enhance knowledge of the extent
of the phenomenon and to build further appropriate and informed policies. As violence against
women covers so many forms of abuse, the Council conclusions encourage further research on
other forms of violence. They also call on Member States to sign and ratify the Council of Europe
Convention on violence against women adopted in May 2011
58
.
All these initiatives were valuable contributions to a strong EU position at the 57th session of
the UN Commission on the Status of Women that took place in March 2013 on the issue of vio-
lence against women. In addition, the European Commission has supported several focused
activities on this topic in 2013, such as the launch of a campaign on violence against women on
6 March, and a public consultation on FGM.
6. Gender equality in external actions
The 56th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place in February
2012. The CSW is the UN’s principal global policy-making body on gender equality and advance-
ment of women. The priority theme in 2012 was the empowerment of rural women and their
role in poverty and hunger eradication, sustainable development and current challenges. The
session was characterised by difficult discussions and did not reach agreement on the main out-
put, the CSW agreed conclusions.
In April 2012, the EU and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment
of Women (UN Women) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU forms the
basis of a partnership aimed at making progress towards achieving the key international com-
mitments in the area of gender equality and women’s empowerment. The partnership also aims
to contribute to the transformation towards a world where societies are free of gender-based
discrimination, where women and men have equal opportunities, where the comprehensive eco-
nomic and social development of women and girls is ensured, where gender equality and wom-
en’s empowerment are achieved, and where women’s rights are upheld in all efforts to further
development, human rights, peace and security.
In May 2012, the European Commission adopted its European Neighbourhood Policy pack-
age
59
. The package takes stock of policy achievements with both eastern and southern partner
countries. Its Strategy Paper highlights that building sustainable democracy also means ensur-
ing gender equality and increasing the participation of women in political and economic life.
In some countries, legislative provisions enacted with the aim of ensuring a more balanced com-
position of parliaments have encountered resistance in practice and therefore have not had the
desired effect. The Strategy Paper also underlines that women have been key players in the Arab
58 http://www.conventions.coe.int/Treaty/EN/Treaties/Word/210.doc
59 Joint Communication, ‘Delivering on a new European Neighbourhood Policy’, JOIN(2012)14 final.
34
Spring, and that they should not lose out in the subsequent transformations. The EU will continue
to step up its efforts to support women’s rights across the region, ensure that gender equality
is mainstreamed into all relevant cooperation activities and promote effective action against
trafficking across the neighbourhood.
Human rights have proven to be the silver thread that runs through everything that EU does in
the external relations. In June 2012, the European Union has adopted its new Strategic
Framework and Action Plan on Human rights and democracy
60
. This is the first time that
the EU has had a unified Strategic Framework for this vital policy area that also provided an
agreed basis for a truly collective effort, involving EU Member States as well as the EU Institutions.
The Action Plan covers priority areas, all designed to improve the effectiveness and consistency
of EU policy as a whole and it also anchors a commitment to genuine partnership with civil soci-
ety. Following the adoption of the Human Rights package the first-ever thematic EU Special
Representative on Human Rights was appointed. The EUSR works on exploring ways to better
engage and develop synergies with as many relevant players as possible as well as with civil
society organisations, and contributes to the better coherence, effectiveness and visibility of EU
policies and actions for the protection and promotion of all human rights.
In September 2012 in the margins of the UN General Assembly the Equal Futures Partnership
was launched. The EU is founding member and committed concrete initiatives for women’s polit-
ical participation and economic empowerment.
The European Commission adopted its annual Enlargement Package in October 2012
61
. The
Strategy Paper highlights, as a key challenge facing most enlargement countries, the need to
strengthen the handling by law enforcement bodies of issues such as gender-based violence. The
country-specific progress reports contain an assessment of progress in terms of alignment with
the legal acquis in the field of gender equality and its implementation. They cover in particular
issues related to female labour market participation, gender balance in economic and political deci-
sion-making, gender-based violence, and administrative capacity. Accession negotiations with
Iceland on social policy and employment, including gender equality, were opened in June 2012.
In November 2012 human rights and gender issues were integrated in the agenda and the Joint
Conclusions of the EU UN Steering Committee on Crisis Management (for the first time since 2009).
EU development policy continued to work for progress in gender equality and empow-
erment of women. The EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in
Development 2010-2015 contains commitments for the Commission, the European External
Action Service and the Member States to support developing countries’ efforts to improve the
situation of women with regard to equal rights and empowerment. In November 2012, the
60 See http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/131181.pdf
61 Communication, ‘Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2012-2013’, COM(2012) 600 final.
35
For example, Denmark has developed a website
65
presenting both gender mainstreaming tools and
concrete examples showing how public services
have taken the gender dimension into account. One
of the lessons learned is that, in addition to being
available, tools need to be visible, functional and
attractive in order to ensure their implementation.
A clear message on the benefits of gender main-
streaming should also be conveyed to civil
servants.
Spain has also developed tools for helping public
policy planners to mainstream gender in the
design, implementation and monitoring of employ-
ment and economic reactivation measures, such as
a guide to measuring the impact of employment
and economic recovery policies on women, a report
with recommendations for strengthening gender
mainstreaming in active employment and eco-
nomic recovery policies and measures, and a vir-
tual tool to simulate gender impacts.
66
second report on the implementation of the EU Plan of Action was published
62
. It concludes that
further progress has been made but that some challenges remain.
7. Horizontal issues
7.1. Mainstreaming gender equality
Gender mainstreaming is the integration of the gender perspective within every stage of the pol-
icy process – design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation – with a view to promoting
equality between women and men. The Commission organised three calls for proposals
63
on
improving gender mainstreaming in national policies and programmes between 2007
and 2010. The last gender mainstreaming projects implemented by Member States
64
under the
PROGRESS programme have just been closed. It is now time to take stock of the progress made
in implementing and practicing gender mainstreaming
In total, 31 initiatives have been supported with the aim of:
• raising awareness of the importance of gender mainstreaming in national policies as an
effective contributor to equality between women and men and to better governance;
• improving knowledge of the key concepts and issues of gender mainstreaming and ensur-
ing a better understanding of gender mainstreaming in policies and programmes;
• developing the necessary methods and tools, including dissemination to the main stakehold-
ers, thus ensuring a more long-term effect.
The vast majority of projects have addressed government officials while some training has tar-
geted parliamentarians, parliamentary staff, officials at regional level and stakeholders. Some
projects focused on supporting, strengthening and equipping a network of officials for the imple-
mentation of gender mainstreaming (for instance the establishment of ad hoc horizontal units
on gender mainstreaming in 15 line ministries in Bulgaria, or the creation of a specialised ‘pool
of contacts’ on gender budgeting at departmental level in Estonia).
65
66
62 2012 Report on the implementation of “EU Plan of Action on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
in Development 2010-2015”, SWD(2012) 410 final.
63 VP2007/010, VP2008/12 and VP2010/009.
64 National authorities in charge of gender equality policy or designated equality bodies.
65 http://www.ligestillingsvurdering.dk/
66 Both the documents and the simulation tool are available on the programme’s website
http://paralaigualdadenelempleo.mspsi.gob.es
36
A large amount of material has been produced (gender impact assessment guides, gender budg-
eting guides, check lists, training modules, databases, e-learning tools), which may be transfer-
able in some cases and contribute to enrichment of the knowledge and methods for gender
mainstreaming at European level.
7.2. Investing in gender equality
On the basis of a proposal of the European Commission on the Multiannual Financial Framework,
the European Parliament and the Council discussed in 2012 the future funding programmes cov-
ering the period 2014-2020. Gender equality will be explicitly included in the Rights, Citizenships
and Equality Programme.
Moreover, integrating a gender perspective in the preparations for the cohesion policy
period 2014-2020 is important in order to meet the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy
in a way that supports development towards a more gender-equal society. Following the
European Commission’s adoption of a legislative package for future cohesion policy in October
2011, the draft regulations were discussed by the Council and the European Parliament in 2012.
The proposals, scheduled to enter into force in 2014, are designed to ensure that EU investment
is targeted at Europe’s long-term goals for growth and jobs and priorities identified under the
Europe 2020 strategy. The proposals also envisage the conclusion of Partnership Contracts
between the Commission and the Member States in 2013. Preparatory work for these Partnership
Contracts was carried out in 2012 both within the European Commission and at national and
regional level. Gender equality considerations should play an important role in the Partnership
Contracts, both in terms of specific actions enhancing gender equality and in terms of effective
and correctly implemented gender mainstreaming. In 2012, the Advisory Committee on Equal
Opportunities for Women and Men adopted an opinion on how cohesion policy can be used effec-
tively to achieve the EU’s commitments on gender equality over the 2014-2020 period
67
.
67 http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/opinions_advisory_committee/
opinion_on_gender_equality_in_the_cohesion_policy_2014-2020_en.pdf
37
8. Summary of main findings
The economic challenges of recent years reveal the current role of women in the economy and their
determination to play an increasing role on the labour market. Women are a growing share of the
EU workforce. They are also increasingly the breadwinners for their families. New research con-
firms the economic gain of an equal participation in the labour market for the society as
a whole: gender equality can significantly increase the growth potential of the EU economy.
Focused policies can close gender gaps and thereby promote growth and inclusion. A concrete
example is the European Commission’s proposal on gender balance in boards of publicly listed com-
panies. Intense public debate and regulatory measures have contributed to improving gender bal-
ance in decision-making and the 2012 figures on women on boards represents the highest
year-on-year change yet recorded.
The policies that can enhance women’s labour market participation and contribute to reach the tar-
get of 75 % of employment are also well-known: increasing childcare facilities, removing fiscal
disincentives for second earners and making work pay for women and men. These policies
have been highlighted throughout the second ‘European Semester’ and reflected in the 2012 and
2013 Annual Growth Survey. It is essential that Member States continue to work to ensure that both
women and men can fully participate in the labour market and reconcile work and family life.
While this report shows that progress has been made in some areas, significant challenges
remain in most fields. To meet the targets of the Strategy on equality between women and men,
further efforts will have to be made taking action in the five priority areas.
38
Statistical annex
Employment
Employment rate of population aged 20-64 (as %) – men and women in 2012
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
EL MT IT ES RO HU SK PL IE BG BE EU-
27
CZ PT LU SI CY FR LV LT UK EE AT DE NL DK FI SE
Source: Eurostat, LFS
Employment rate of population aged 20-64 (as%) – men and women – in 2012
percent
Men
Women
39
Employment rate of population aged 20-64 (as %) – men and women – in 2007 and in 2012
Women Men Gender gap
2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012
EU-27 62.1 62.4 77.8 74.6 15.7 12.2
BE 60.3 61.7 75.0 72.7 14.7 11.0
BG 63.5 60.2 73.4 65.8 9.9 5.6
CZ 62.4 62.5 81.5 80.2 19.1 17.7
DK 74.7 72.2 83.2 78.6 8.5 6.4
DE 66.7 71.5 79.1 81.8 12.4 10.3
EE 72.5 69.3 81.4 75.2 8.9 5.9
IE 64.4 59.4 83.0 68.1 18.6 8.7
EL 51.6 45.2 80.4 65.3 28.8 20.1
ES 58.0 54.0 80.7 64.5 22.7 10.5
FR 64.8 65.0 75.0 73.8 10.2 8.8
IT 49.9 50.5 75.8 71.6 25.9 21.1
CY 67.7 64.8 86.4 76.1 18.7 11.3
LV 70.7 66.4 80.1 70.2 9.4 3.8
LT 69.5 67.9 76.5 69.4 7.0 1.5
LU 61.0 64.1 78.3 78.5 17.3 14.4
HU 55.5 56.4 70.2 68.1 14.7 11.7
MT 37.4 46.8 78.7 79.0 41.3 32.2
NL 70.7 71.9 84.8 82.5 14.1 10.6
AT 67.2 70.3 81.6 80.9 14.4 10.6
PL 55.5 57.5 70.2 72.0 14.7 14.5
PT 66.3 63.1 79.1 69.9 12.8 6.8
RO 57.9 56.3 71.0 71.4 13.1 15.1
SI 67.1 64.6 77.5 71.8 10.4 7.2
SK 58.7 57.3 76.0 72.8 17.3 15.5
FI 72.5 72.5 77.2 75.5 4.7 3.0
SE 77.1 76.8 83.1 81.9 6.0 5.1
UK 68.4 68.4 82.2 80.0 13.8 11.6
Source: Eurostat, LFS
40
Employment rate of population aged 55-64 (as %) – men and women – in 2007 and in 2012
Women Men Gender gap
2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012
EU-27 35.9 41.9 53.9 56.4 18 14.5
BE 26 33.1 42.9 46 16.9 12.9
BG 34.5 41.3 51.8 50.8 17.3 9.5
CZ 33.5 39 59.6 60.3 26.1 21.3
DK 52.9 55.8 64.9 65.9 12 10.1
DE 43.4 54.8 59.4 68.5 16 13.7
EE 60.5 61.2 59.4 59.8 -1.1 -1.4
IE 39.6 42.7 67.8 55.8 28.2 13.1
EL 26.9 26 59.1 47.6 32.2 21.6
ES 30 36 60 52.4 30 16.4
FR 36 41.7 40.5 47.4 4.5 5.7
IT 23 30.9 45.1 50.4 22.1 19.5
CY 40.3 38.2 72.5 63.5 32.2 25.3
LV 52.4 52.5 64.6 53.1 12.2 0.6
LT 47.9 48.3 60.8 56.2 12.9 7.9
LU 28.6 34.3 35.6 47.4 7 13.1
HU 26.2 32.2 41.7 42.6 15.5 10.4
MT 11.6 15.8 45.9 51.7 34.3 35.9
NL 40.1 49.1 61.5 68.1 21.4 19
AT 28 34.1 49.8 52.5 21.8 18.4
PL 19.4 29.2 41.4 49.3 22 20.1
PT 44 42 58.6 51.5 14.6 9.5
RO 33.6 32.9 50.3 51.2 16.7 18.3
SI 22.2 25 45.3 40.7 23.1 15.7
SK 21.2 33.6 52.5 53.6 31.3 20
FI 55 59.7 55.1 56.6 0.1 -3.1
SE 67 69.6 72.9 76.3 5.9 6.7
UK 48.9 51 66.3 65.4 17.4 14.4
Source: Eurostat, LFS
41
Part-time employment as a percentage of the total employment, by sex, from 15 to 64 years old in 2002, 2007 and 2012
Women Men
2002 2007 2012 2002 2007 2012
EU-27 33.1 30.8 32.1 6.0 7.0 8.4
BE 37.7 40.5 43.5 5.6 7.1 9.0
BG 3.5 1.9 2.5 2.1 1.1 2.0
CZ 7.7 7.9 8.6 1.6 1.7 2.2
DK 31.1 35.1 35.8 10.1 12.4 14.8
DE 39.2 45.6 45.0 5.2 8.5 9.1
EE 8.4 10.6 13.2 3.7 3.8 5.1
IE 30.4 31.6 34.9 6.0 6.4 13.3
EL 7.8 9.9 11.8 2.1 2.5 4.7
ES 17.0 22.7 24.4 2.6 3.9 6.5
FR 29.6 30.4 30.0 4.9 5.5 6.4
IT 16.7 26.8 31.0 3.5 4.6 6.7
CY 10.8 10.4 13.1 2.7 3.0 6.4
LV 10.5 6.9 11.1 6.7 4.4 6.7
LT 10.7 9.7 10.6 8.4 6.5 6.9
LU 26.4 37.1 36.1 1.7 2.6 4.7
HU 4.9 5.5 9.3 2.1 2.5 4.3
MT 18.8 24.6 26.0 3.7 4.0 5.7
NL 72.7 74.8 76.9 20.6 22.5 24.9
AT 35.7 40.7 44.4 4.6 6.2 7.8
PL 12.2 11.7 10.6 7.3 5.8 4.5
PT 13.5 13.6 14.1 4.2 4.7 8.2
RO 10.7 8.9 9.7 8.9 8.3 8.6
SI 7.6 10.0 12.2 4.3 6.5 6.3
SK 2.7 4.3 5.5 1.1 1.0 2.8
FI 16.9 18.8 19.4 7.5 8.3 9.1
SE 32.3 39.5 38.6 9.7 10.5 12.5
UK 43.3 41.4 42.3 8.4 9.4 11.5
Source: Eurostat, LFS
42
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
percent
Source: Eurostat, LFS
Employment rates by sex, age and nationality (%) [lfsa_ergan]
Female employment rate (20-64)
Female employment rate in FTE (20-64)
MT IT EL NL ES IE BE LU HU EU-
27
RO UK DE AT PL SK FR CZ BG PT SI CY DK LV EE LT FI SE
Female employment rate and female employment rate
in full-time equivalent (FTE) (20-64 years old) in 2012
43
Employment impact of parenthood: difference in percentage points between employment rates – age group 20-49 –
with the presence of a child aged 0-6 and without the presence of any children in 2007 and in 2012
Women Men
2007 2012 2007 2012
EU-27 -13.6 -9.7 9.7 11.4
BE -2.8 -0.3 10.1 12.3
BG -19.4 -16.0 5.0 9.0
CZ -43.1 -35.7 9.2 9.6
DK -0.6 -2.0 7.0 10.7
DE -24.4 -18.2 7.7 8.0
EE -25.7 -24.4 11.6 14.4
IE -17.2 -10.8 6.9 10.3
EL -6.9 -1.0 14.9 17.1
ES -8.0 -1.5 10.1 14.2
FR -10.6 -6.3 10.2 11.8
IT -5.8 -2.0 14.1 15.7
CY -3.2 -3.7 9.9 13.0
LV -17.3 -9.6 9.9 12.6
LT -7.0 -0.7 10.8 15.4
LU -3.5 -0.8 12.8 12.3
HU -35.1 -32.6 9.0 9.8
MT -13.9 -6.3 5.8 11.3
NL -8.1 -2.5 5.7 10.0
AT -17.1 -9.8 5.0 6.4
PL -10.1 -9.8 14.9 15.2
PT 1.2 3.4 10.4 13.4
RO -2.2 -3.1 10.5 8.2
SI 4.9 1.6 10.5 15.2
SK -33.8 -31.8 8.3 12.2
FI -18.4 -17.4 11.0 11.8
SE 0.8 13.9
UK -21.9 -18.3 4.8 8.2
Source: Eurostat, LFS
44
Barcelona targets: Formal childcare by age group – % over the population of each age group
Less than 3 years
From 3 years to minimum
compulsory age
2007 2011 2007 2011
EU-27 26.0 30.0 81.0 84.0
BE 44.0 39.0 100.0 98.0
BG 8.0 7.0 59.0 60.0
CZ 2.0 5.0 69.0 74.0
DK 70.0 74.0 97.0 98.0
DE 17.0 24.0 86.0 90.0
EE 15.0 19.0 86.0 92.0
IE 24.0 21.0 86.0 82.0
EL 10.0 19.0 65.0 75.0
ES 40.0 39.0 92.0 86.0
FR 27.0 44.0 93.0 95.0
IT 25.0 26.0 90.0 95.0
CY 18.0 23.0 80.0 73.0
LV 16.0 15.0 52.0 73.0
LT 20.0 7.0 59.0 65.0
LU 25.0 44.0 66.0 73.0
HU 8.0 8.0 80.0 75.0
MT 13.0 11.0 65.0 73.0
NL 43.0 52.0 91.0 89.0
AT 8.0 14.0 70.0 85.0
PL 2.0 3.0 31.0 43.0
PT 27.0 35.0 75.0 81.0
RO 6.0 2.0 57.0 41.0
SI 30.0 37.0 84.0 92.0
SK 2.0 4.0 75.0 75.0
FI 26.0 26.0 76.0 77.0
SE 47.0 51.0 91.0 95.0
UK 38.0 35.0 84.0 93.0
Source: Eurostat, EU-SILC
45
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Early school leavers from education and training in 2002, 2007 and 2011
% of population aged 20-64
Men
Women
ES MT RO IT PT BG UK EU-
27
HU DE FR BE EL IE FI DK NL AT EE CY SE LV LU CZ LT SK PL SI
Source: Eurostat, LFS
Education
Early leavers from education and training in 2012: proportion of persons
aged 18 to 24 who have finished no more than a lower secondary education
and are not involved in further education or training, as a percentage of the
total population aged 18 to 24
46
Early school leavers from education and training in 2002, 2007 and 2012
Women Men
2002 2007 2012 2002 2007 2012
EU-27 14.9 13.0 11.0 19.1 17.1 14.5
BE 11.0 10.3 9.5 17.1 13.9 14.4
BG 19.4 14.7 13.0 22.0 15.2 12.1
CZ 5.9 4.7 4.9 5.4 5.7 6.1
DK 8.2 9.5 7.4 9.9 16.2 10.8
DE 12.5 11.9 9.8 12.5 13.1 11.1
EE 9.4 7.1 16.9 21.7 14.0
IE 11.2 8.4 8.2 18.0 14.6 11.2
EL 12.5 10.6 9.1 20.6 18.6 13.7
ES 24.2 25.2 20.8 36.8 36.6 28.8
FR 11.9 10.3 9.8 14.9 14.9 13.4
IT 20.5 16.4 14.5 27.8 22.9 20.5
CY 11.0 6.8 7.0 22.3 19.5 16.5
LV 11.0 10.1 6.2 22.7 20.0 14.5
LT 11.4 5.1 4.6 15.4 9.6 8.2
LU 19.6 8.4 5.5 14.4 16.6 10.7
HU 11.9 10.1 10.7 12.5 12.6 12.2
MT 49.7 34.9 17.6 56.5 41.3 27.5
NL 13.8 9.3 7.3 16.8 14.0 10.2
AT 10.2 10.1 7.3 8.7 11.4 7.9
PL 5.6 3.8 3.5 8.9 6.2 7.8
PT 37.2 30.4 14.3 52.6 43.1 27.1
RO 22.1 17.4 16.7 23.9 17.1 18.0
SI 3.2 2.2 3.2 6.8 5.8 5.4
SK 5.8 5.8 4.6 7.6 7.2 6.0
FI 7.6 7.2 8.1 11.8 11.2 9.8
SE 8.9 6.5 6.3 11.0 9.5 8.5
UK 17.1 15.6 12.4 18.1 17.6 14.6
Source: Eurostat, LFS
47
Tertiary educational attainment by sex in 2012: the share of the population
aged 30-34 years who have successfully completed university or university-
like (tertiary-level) education with an education level ISCED 1997
(International Standard Classification of Education) of 5-6
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
Tertiary educational attainement by sex
Men
Women
RO MT IT AT SK CZ PT DE BG EL HU EU-
27
NL ES PL LV FR LU SI UK EE BE DK SE FI CY LT IE
Source: Eurostat, LFS
48
Tertiary educational attainment by sex (30-34 years old) in 2002, 2007 and 2012
Women Men
2002 2007 2012 2002 2007 2012
EU-27 24.5 32.8 40.0 22.6 27.2 31.6
BE 39.0 46.4 50.7 31.5 36.6 37.1
BG 28.8 33.2 33.6 17.7 18.7 20.5
CZ 11.4 13.7 29.1 13.7 13.0 22.4
DK 39.4 41.6 52.6 28.7 34.8 33.7
DE 21.4 25.7 32.9 26.8 27.3 31.0
EE 33.6 42.4 50.4 22.5 24.1 28.1
IE 33.0 48.8 57.9 30.9 37.9 44.0
EL 24.8 27.3 34.2 21.9 25.0 27.6
ES 35.8 44.6 45.3 31.0 34.8 35.0
FR 34.0 45.0 48.6 29.0 37.7 38.5
IT 14.2 22.3 26.3 12.0 15.0 17.2
CY 36.1 48.0 55.5 35.9 44.4 43.6
LV 22.1 31.5 48.1 12.4 19.8 26.0
LT 29.6 45.0 56.4 17.0 31.0 40.7
LU 21.5 38.1 48.9 25.6 32.4 50.4
HU 16.1 23.9 35.5 12.8 16.4 24.7
MT 23.7 24.0 19.5 20.7
NL 29.3 37.3 44.8 27.8 35.5 39.9
AT 20.5 26.6 21.8 26.0
PL 16.7 31.3 46.5 12.2 22.7 31.9
PT 16.9 24.7 30.1 9.1 15.0 24.3
RO 9.0 14.3 23.2 9.1 13.6 20.5
SI 29.1 41.1 49.6 12.9 21.7 29.5
SK 11.2 16.1 28.2 9.7 13.4 19.4
FI 49.3 55.4 55.4 33.4 39.3 36.7
SE 31.2 47.0 53.7 25.5 35.2 42.4
UK 30.7 40.1 50.2 32.4 36.9 44.0
Source: Eurostat, LFS
49
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Difference
2011-2008
EU-27 17.3 16.6 16.1 16.2 1.1
BE 10.1 10.2 10.1 10.2 10.2 0.0
BG 12.1 12.3 13.3 13.0 13.0 -0.7
CZ 23.6 26.2 25.9 21.6 21.0 5.2
DK 17.7 17.1 16.8 16.0 16.4 0.7
DE 22.8 22.8 22.6 22.3 22.2 0.6
EE 30.9 27.6 26.6 27.7 27.3 0.3
IE 17.3 12.6 12.6 13.9
EL 22.0
ES 18.1 16.1 16.7 16.2 16.2 -0.1
FR 17.3 16.9 15.2 15.6 14.7 2.2
IT 5.1 4.9 5.5 5.3 5.8 -0.9
CY 22.0 19.5 17.8 16.8 16.4 3.1
LV 13.6 11.8 13.1 15.5 13.6 -1.8
LT 22.6 21.6 15.3 14.6 11.9 9.7
LU 10.2 9.7 9.2 8.7 8.7 1.0
HU 16.3 17.5 17.1 17.6 18.0 -0.5
MT 7.8 9.2 13.8 13.4 12.9 -3.7
NL 19.3 18.9 18.5 17.8 17.9 1.0
AT 25.5 25.1 24.3 24.0 23.7 1.4
PL 14.9 11.4 8.0 4.5 4.5 6.9
PT 8.5 9.2 10.0 12.8 12.5 -3.3
RO 12.5 8.5 7.4 8.8 12.1 -3.6
SI 5.0 4.1 -0.9 0.9 2.3 1.8
SK 23.6 20.9 21.9 19.6 20.5 0.4
FI 20.2 20.5 20.8 20.3 18.2 2.3
SE 17.8 16.9 15.7 15.4 15.8 1.1
UK 20.8 21.4 20.6 19.5 20.1 1.3
Source: Eurostat, SES
The Gender Pay Gap
Gender pay gap – difference between men’s and women’s average gross
hourly earnings as percentage of men’s average gross hourly earnings
(for paid employees) from 2007 to 2011
50
Gender segregation in occupations and in economic sectors in 2007 and in 2012
Gender segregation
in occupations
Gender segregation
in economic sectors
2007 2012 2007 2012
EU-27 25.1 24.5 18.2 18.7
AT 26.3 26.9 18.5 19.1
BE 25.2 26.0 18.1 19.7
BG 29.3 28.6 20.5 20.9
CY 29 28.7 20.1 19.4
CZ 28.5 28.4 19.4 21.0
DE 26.3 25.7 18.3 19.5
DK 25.4 24.9 18.1 19.5
EE 32.2 30.9 25.6 25.2
ES 27.3 25.7 20.8 19.4
FI 29.6 28.7 22.7 24.1
FR 26.3 25.9 18 18.9
GR 22.4 19.3 16 14.5
HU 28.7 28.2 19.8 20.6
IE 27.9 26.3 23 20.7
IT 23.6 24.7 17.7 19.7
LT 29.2 29.5 23.3 22.3
LU 27.2 23.8 18.9 17.1
LV 28.7 29.1 22.4 24.0
MT 23.1 24.3 15.8 16.3
NL 25.1 25.5 18.1 14.5
PL 25.8 26.7 19.4 21.1
PT 26.7 25.6 21.1 21.3
RO 22.8 22.8 16.3 17.4
SE 27 25.7 21.3 21.4
SI 26.4 25.8 17.5 19.9
SK 30.1 30.6 23 24.5
UK 25.1 24.1 18.4 19.0
Source: Eurostat, EU LFS. Gender segregation in occupations is calculated as the average national share of employment
for women and men applied to each occupation; differences are added up to produce the total amount of gender
imbalance expressed as a proportion of total employment (ISCO classification).
51
Poverty
People at risk of poverty or social exclusion by sex in 2011: Proportion of
persons who are at risk of poverty or severely materially deprived or living
in households with very low work intensity
68
1
68 Persons are only counted once even if they are present in several sub-indicators. At risk-of-poverty are persons with
an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median
equivalised disposable income (after social transfers). Material deprivation covers indicators relating to economic
strain and durables. Severely materially deprived persons have living conditions severely constrained by a lack of
resources, they experience at least 4 out of 9 following deprivations items: cannot afford i) to pay rent or utility bills,
ii) keep home adequately warm, iii) face unexpected expenses, iv) eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every
second day, v) a week holiday away from home, vi) a car, vii) a washing machine, viii) a colour TV, or ix) a telephone.
People living in households with very low work intensity are those aged 0-59 living in households where the adults
(aged 18-59) work less than 20 % of their total work potential during the past year.
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
50
55
60
People at risk of poverty or social exclusion
percent
Men
Women
BG RO LV LT HR EL HU IE IT PL ES CY EU-
27
PT UK EE MT SK BE DE SI FR DK AT FI LU SE CZ NL
Source: Eurostat, EU-SILC
52
People at risk of poverty or social exclusion by sex in from 2007 to 2011
Women Men
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
EU-27 25.9 25.0 24.4 24.6 25.2 22.9 22.1 21.8 22.4 23.0
BE 23.1 22.4 21.8 21.7 21.5 19.9 19.1 18.5 20.0 20.4
BG 61.9 46.4 48.1 50.9 50.5 59.4 43.0 44.1 47.3 47.7
CZ 17.4 17.2 15.7 16.0 16.9 14.2 13.3 12.3 12.7 13.7
DK 17.7 17.0 18.2 19.0 19.5 15.9 15.7 17.0 17.7 18.2
DE 22.3 21.6 21.2 20.9 21.3 18.8 18.5 18.8 18.6 18.5
EE 24.2 24.3 25.5 22.0 22.9 19.4 18.9 21.1 21.5 23.2
IE 24.6 24.7 26.4 30.5 21.6 22.7 25.0 29.3
EL 29.9 29.8 29.0 29.3 32.3 26.8 26.3 26.1 26.0 29.6
ES 24.6 24.2 24.4 26.1 27.3 21.7 21.6 22.3 24.9 26.6
FR 20.0 19.8 19.7 20.0 19.9 18.0 17.3 17.1 18.3 18.6
IT 28.1 27.2 26.4 26.3 29.9 23.8 23.2 22.8 22.6 26.4
CY 27.6 25.0 25.0 24.4 25.4 22.7 19.8 20.9 21.5 21.5
LV 37.7 36.2 38.7 38.5 40.4 34.1 31.0 35.9 37.6 39.8
LT 30.9 29.7 31.4 33.8 33.6 26.3 25.3 27.3 32.9 33.2
LU 16.9 16.7 19.6 17.7 18.0 15.0 14.2 16.0 16.5 15.6
HU 30.1 29.0 30.0 30.3 31.4 28.6 27.3 29.1 29.4 30.5
MT 20.6 21.0 21.4 21.2 22.2 18.3 18.2 19.0 19.4 20.6
NL 16.9 15.5 15.9 16.0 16.6 14.6 14.3 14.3 14.1 14.9
AT 18.9 20.3 18.9 18.4 18.5 14.5 16.8 15.0 14.7 15.2
PL 35.1 31.2 28.6 28.5 27.7 33.5 29.9 27.0 27.0 26.6
PT 26.0 26.8 25.8 25.8 25.1 24.0 25.0 24.0 24.8 23.8
RO 46.7 45.3 44.2 42.1 41.1 45.1 43.0 41.9 40.8 39.5
SI 19.2 20.3 19.1 20.1 21.1 15.0 16.6 15.1 16.5 17.4
SK 23.1 22.0 21.1 21.6 21.7 19.4 18.9 18.0 19.6 19.5
FI 19.0 18.9 17.9 17.7 18.5 15.8 15.9 15.8 16.0 17.3
SE 14.2 16.1 17.5 16.6 18.0 13.6 13.7 14.4 13.4 14.2
UK 24.1 24.7 22.8 24.2 24.1 21.1 21.7 21.1 22.1 21.4
Source: Eurostat, EU-SILC
53
Decision-making
Change in the share of women on company boards (percentage points), 2010-2012
2010 2012
Percentage point change in Women
Board Members 2010-2012
RO 21.3 11.9 -9.4
SK 21.6 13.8 -7.8
HU 13.6 7.4 -6.2
SE 26.4 25.5 -0.9
PL 11.6 11.8 0.2
IE 8.4 8.7 0.2
BG 11.2 11.6 0.4
EE 7.0 7.8 0.7
MT 2.4 3.5 1.2
EL 6.2 7.9 1.7
PT 5.4 7.4 2.0
BE 10.5 12.9 2.5
FI 25.9 28.6 2.7
ES 9.5 12.3 2.8
DK 17.7 20.8 3.1
AT 8.7 11.9 3.2
CY 4.0 7.7 3.7
EU-27 11.8 15.8 4.0
CZ 12.2 16.4 4.2
LV 23.5 28.2 4.7
LT 13.1 17.8 4.7
DE 12.6 17.9 5.3
UK 13.3 18.8 5.4
LU 3.5 9.7 6.1
IT 4.5 11.0 6.5
NL 14.9 21.5 6.6
SI 9.8 18.7 8.9
FR 12.3 25.1 12.8
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
54
Share of women in national governments (senior ministers), 2003, 2008, 2012
2003 2008 2012
FR 21 % 34 % 49 %
CY 9 %8 % 33 %
AT 27 % 36 % 43 %
DK 28 % 37 % 43 %
PL 6 % 25 % 20 %
SK 0 %6 %7 %
IT 9 % 18 % 16 %
NL 31 % 28 % 38 %
BG 19 % 26 % 24 %
ES 25 % 50 % 29 %
LV 25 % 21 % 29 %
MT 15 % 22 % 18 %
FI 44 % 60 % 47 %
BE 36 % 40 % 38 %
SE 52 % 45 % 54 %
CZ 12 % 11 % 13 %
EL 6 % 11 %6 %
PT 17 % 12 % 17 %
EE 9 % 21 %8 %
IE 14 % 20 % 13 %
LT 15 % 14 % 13 %
RO 21 %0 % 19 %
HU 13 % 13 %9 %
SI 14 % 17 %8 %
UK 24 % 32 % 17 %
DE 46 % 38 % 38 %
LU 37 % 20 % 27 %
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
55
Percentage of women in national parliaments (single/lower houses), in regional assemblies
and at local level politics in 2012
National parliaments (women) Regional assemblies (women) Local level politics (women)
EU-27 26 % 32 % 32 %
BE 40 % 39 % 35 %
BG 23 % 25 %
CZ 22 % 19 % 26 %
DK 41 % 34 % 32 %
DE 33 % 32 % 26 %
EE 21 % 29 %
IE 15 % 17 %
EL 21 % 17 % 16 %
ES 39 % 42 % 35 %
FR 26 % 48 % 35 %
IT 21 % 13 % 25 %
CY 11 % 20 %
LV 23 % 23 % 36 %
LT 24 % 22 %
LU 23 % 21 %
HU 9 % 9 % 20 %
MT 9 % 22 %
NL 39 % 33 % 26 %
AT 28 % 33 %
PL 24 % 25 % 24 %
PT 29 % 25 % 28 %
RO 12 % 15 %
SI 38 % 22 %
SK 19 % 16 %
FI 43 % 43 % 37 %
SE 44 % 47 % 43 %
UK 22 % 31 % 30 %
Source: European Commission, Database on Women and Men in Decision-Making
Country codes
Code Name
BE Belgium
BG Bulgaria
CZ Czech Republic
DK Denmark
DE Germany
EE Estonia
IE Ireland
EL Greece
ES Spain
FR France
IT Italy
CY Cyprus
LV Latvia
LT Lithuania
LU Luxembourg
HU Hungary
MT Malta
NL Netherlands
AT Austria
PL Poland
PT Portugal
RO Romania
SI Slovenia
SK Slovakia
FI Finland
SE Sweden
UK United Kingdom
European Commission - Directorate-General for Justice
Progress on equality between women and men in 2012
Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union
2013 — 60 pp. — 21×21 cm
ISBN: 978-92-79-29838-7
doi: 10.2838/36610
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Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2013
ISBN: 978-92-79-29838-7
doi: 10.2838/36610
© European Union, 2013
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
Printed in Belgium
DS-AU-13-001-EN-C
doi: 10.2838/36610
Justice
Progress on equality between
women and men in 2012
Progress on equality between women and men in 2012 - A Europe 2020 initiative
A Europe 2020 initiative
The European Union has enshrined gender equality as a fundamental right.
The Staff Working Document on Progress on Equality between Womenand
Men in 2012 presents recent developments in gender equality and statistics
in all fields covered by the Strategy for equality between women and men
(2010-2015): equal economic independence; equal pay for equal work and
work of equal value; equality in decision-making; dignity, integrity and an
end to gender-based violence; and gender equality in external actions.