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.

Strategic engagement for gender equality

The strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019 is the framework for the European Commission's future work towards full gender equality.

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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