Mapping the glass ceiling: The EU regions where women thrive and where they are held back

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In which EU regions are women achieving the most, and in which ones they face the largest disadvantage? Answers to these questions and many more can be found in the latest edition of the EU regional gender equality monitor. Based on two composite indicators, the Female Achievement Index and the Female Disadvantage Index, the monitor is the first to capture aspects of gender equality at the regional level for the almost totality of EU NUTS2 regions.

Monitoring EU regional gender equality with the female achievement and disadvantage indices

In some EU regions women are able to thrive, while in others they are held back.

Following the methodology developed by the JRC – in cooperation with DG REGIO –  in the 2019 pilot exercise, the regional gender equality monitor consists of two composite indices: the Female Achievement Index (FemAI) and the Female Disadvantage Index (FemDI). They address two specific and complementary aspects of gender equality.

The Female Achievement Index, FemAI, measures the level of female achievement compared to the best regional female performance. FemAI varies between 0 (lowest achievements) and 100 (highest achievements).

The Female Disadvantage Index, FemDI, assesses the level of female disadvantage by measuring if women are doing worse than men in the same region. The best score is 0 (no disadvantage) and the worst is 100 (largest disadvantage).

These two indices are the first to capture aspects of gender equality at the regional level for all EU regions. Female achievement and disadvantage are assessed in 235 regions (NUTS 2 level)

Results from the 2021 edition of the monitor show that the highest level of female achievement is seen in Nordic regions, with the highest score in the capital region of Helsinki-Uusimaa. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the lowest index score is observed in the regions Sud-Est in Romania. The French region of Auvergne has the smallest disadvantage, while the Greek region of Sterea Ellada has the biggest disadvantage.

The interactive maps and charts are another novelty. Below people can select the indices and their dimensions they want to see on a map.

Mapping the glass ceiling: The EU regions where women thrive and where they are held back



In addition, a dedicated website within the JRC Urban data Platform offers a rich set of interactive maps and charts for a complete overview of how a region compares to the EU average, to a different region in the EU, or to the average region in more developed, transition and less developed regions in the EU.

Results are also available as INTERACTIVE DATA STORY in the European Commission Open Data Portal for the European Structural Investment Fund.

Please send your comments to REGIO-B1-PAPERS@ec.europa.eu.


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