Achievements in gender equality

Although inequalities still exist, the EU has made significant progress in gender equality over the last decades. This is the result of

  • equal treatment legislation
  • gender mainstreaming, integration of the gender perspective into all other policies
  • specific measures for the advancement of women

Encouraging trends are the higher number of women in the labour market and their progress in securing better education and training.

However, gender gaps remain and in the labour market women are still over-represented in lower paid sectors and under-represented in decision-making positions.

Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025

The EU Gender Equality Strategy delivers on the von der Leyen Commission’s commitment to achieving a Union of Equality. The Strategy presents policy objectives and actions to make significant progress by 2025 towards a gender-equal Europe. The goal is a Union where women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversity, are free to pursue their chosen path in life, have equal opportunities to thrive, and can equally participate in and lead our European society.

The key objectives are ending gender-based violence; challenging gender stereotypes; closing gender gaps in the labour market; achieving equal participation across different sectors of the economy; addressing the gender pay and pension gaps; closing the gender care gap and achieving gender balance in decision-making and in politics. The Strategy pursues a dual approach of gender mainstreaming combined with targeted actions, and intersectionality is a horizontal principle for its implementation. While the Strategy focuses on actions within the EU, it is coherent with the EU’s external policy on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As one of the first deliverables of the Strategy, the Commission proposed binding pay transparency measures  on 4 March 2021.

On 8 March 2022, the European Commission is seeking, with the new EU-wide proposal for a directive to combat violence against women and domestic violence, to introduce targeted minimum rules on the rights of this group of crime victims, and to criminalise forms of violence against women and of cyber violence.

Factsheet - Championing gender equality - cover

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Factsheet - striving for a Union of equality - the gender equality strategy 2020-2025 - cover

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Strategic engagement for gender equality

The strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019 defined the framework for the European Commission's work towards gender equality in the referred period.

The strategic engagement focuses on the following 5 priority areas:

  • increasing female labour market participation and economic independence of women and men
  • reducing the gender pay, earnings and pension gaps and thus fighting poverty among women
  • promoting equality between women and men in decision-making
  • combating gender-based violence and protecting and supporting victims
  • promoting gender equality and women's rights across the world

The strategic engagement sets out objectives in each of these priority areas and identifies more than 30 concrete actions. It reaffirms commitment to gender mainstreaming: a gender equality perspective will be integrated into all EU policies as well as into EU funding programmes.

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Annual report on gender equality

The 2022 report on gender equality in the EU is the second report under the new Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025. The report takes stock of where the EU and its Member States stand on gender equality. It highlights the EU’s achievements in the five key areas covered by the strategy and gives inspiring examples from the Member States and EU-funded projects in these areas.

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Consult all past reports on Gender Equality (No reports were published in 2016 and 2020)


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