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European Commission’s 2015 Report on Equality between Women and Men

March 8th 2016

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the European Commission published its annual report on ’Equality between Women and Men’, containing the most up-to date data on gender equality in the European Union (EU) and its Member States, and reviewing concrete actions undertaken in 2015 by the EU, its Member States and civil society to promote gender equality.

The report displays encouraging results, but also sends some alarming signals:

  • Women’s employment rate reached an all-time high at 64.5% in the third quarter of 2015. This rate, however, is well below men’s employment rate at 75.6%;
  • Limited progress has been made in recent years on improving the provision of work-life balance measures. Only six Member States reached the Barcelona targets on childcare facilities;
  • The "double shift" is still a reality for working women in all EU Member States. In 2015, working women took on three quarters of household chores and two thirds of parental care;
  • The report disentangles the sources of the gender pay gap per country. It shows that women are reaping the benefits of education, but they enter relatively low-paid sectors. They also pay a high price for part-time work, which is less well remunerated than full time jobs per hour of work;
  • Women’s pensions are 40% lower than men’s pensions on average. Neither the gender gap in pensions, nor the gender gap in pay show signs of narrowing;
  • Both male and female migrants are twice as likely to be unemployed as EU born citizens, but migrant women have even fewer opportunities and resources. Basic inequalities are amplified by displacement, when women are more vulnerable and are exposed to risks of violence, exploitation and slavery. About 33 % of first time applicants registered in January 2016 were women;
  • Although the level of female representation in the boardroom of the largest publicly listed companies is still low (22%), the rate of progress has picked up since 2010 thanks to a combination of political pressure, intense public debate and legislative measures;
  • As regards national politics, parity is more than three decades away and in a few Member States all-male governments remain in power;
  • For the first time ever, the report also displays gender gaps in subjective well-being: women are as equally satisfied with their lives as men, but two times more likely to be depressive.

European Commission’s 2015 Report on Equality between Women and Men
European Commission’s 2015 Report on Equality between Women and Men

More information are available on the European Commission website: here.