Women and men in decision-making: highlights (Third quarter 2013) RSS
An update of the European Commission's database on women and men in decision-making has recently been completed and includes:
- A quarterly update of data on political decision-making at European, national and regional level (where regional elections were held). Data were collected between end July and beginning August and reflect changes since the last update in May 2013.
- An annual update of information on key decision-makers in the following types of organisation: European administration, European social partner organisations, European NGOs and the judiciary. Data were collected from beginning June to end August.
- There was a biennial update of decision-makers in politics at the local level. Data were collected between mid-March and beginning July and reflect changes since the data was first collected in 2011.
Note that following the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013, EU level data and averages now refer to EU28, for both updates and historical data.
In the political arena, selected developments in terms of the gender balance include:
- Parliamentary elections held in Bulgaria in May 2013 led to a small increase in the share of women members, which now stands at a quarter, bringing the percentage of women closer to the EU28 average (27%).
- Following the elections and other government reshuffles, there were decreases in the share of women in national governments in a number of countries: down 11 pp in the Czech Republic (to reach 7%), 6 pp in Lithuania (to reach 7%), and 3 pp in France (to reach 47%). By contrast, women now account for a fifth of senior ministers in Portugal (up from 15% previously) and just over a third of senior ministers in Bulgaria (up from 24%). Overall, the percentage of women rests at 27%, unchanged from the previous quarter and mirroring the level in the lower houses of national parliaments.
- There were regional elections in Austria (Tirol and Salzburg) in May. In Salzburg, the proportion of female members in the regional assembly fell by 19 pp, but because the level was previously 61%, women still represent a fair proportion of members (42%). In Tirol the share of female members of the regional assembly is little changed (at 31%) but the regional executive is now gender balanced and doubles the previous proportion of women members.
- Local elections have been held in a number of countries since 2011 but the percentage of women still stands at roughly a third for the EU28 (32%). In the majority of countries where local elections were held, the percentages of women mayors and/or local (municipal) councillors increased marginally. In Serbia, however, the share of female councillors rose by 8 pp resulting in the share of female councillors reaching 29%. In Italy, the fall in the percentage of women councillors from 25% to 21% was particularly interesting because at the end of 2012 a new law was passed which seeks to promote equality between men and women in elected positions of local government bodies.
Relevant developments in gender balance in other areas include:
- The representation of women in administrative positions (senior civil servants) at the EU-level has improved in three areas: almost 41% of European agencies are now headed by women, almost double the proportion of one year ago; women account for a third of administrators in level 2 positions across the three main EU institutions (up slightly compared to 2012) and the new European Ombudsman elected in July 2013 is a women.
- With regards to social partner organisations at European level, the share of female members of employers’ organisations has increased regularly since 2007 (when it was 8%) to reach the current level of 17%. Last year there were just two women presidents of the 17 employee organisations covered by the database (12%), but the number of women presidents now stands at five(29%).
- The percentage of women members of national supreme courts in the EU28 has increased slowly but steadily since 2009 to reach 35% in 2013, although there is now one less women president compared to last year since the Supreme Court in Greece is now presided over by a man.