Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 21/09/2010

New strategy on gender equality

The Commission adopted a five-year strategy for promoting equality between women and men in Europe. The strategy aims in particular to make better use of women's potential, thereby contributing to the EU's overall economic and social goals.

Gender symbols on blackboard

© marekuliasz, under license of Shutterstock.com

It translates the principles set out in the European Commission's Women's Charter into specific measures, ranging from getting more women into company boardrooms to tackling gender-based violence. Meanwhile, a new Eurobarometer survey shows 87% of Europeans support EU action to tackle domestic violence. One out of four knows someone who has been a victim of such violence.

The gender equality strategy spells out a series of actions based around five priorities: the economy and labour market; equal pay; equality in senior positions; tackling gender violence; and promoting equality beyond the EU. They include:

  • Getting more women into the labour market and helping to reach the Europe 2020 target employment rate of 75% overall for women and men;
  • Putting forward targeted initiatives to get more women into top jobs in economic decision-making;
  • Promoting female entrepreneurship and self employment;
  • Instituting an annual European Equal Pay Day to raise awareness of the fact that women continue to earn an average of nearly 18% less than men across the EU;
  • Working together with all Member States in combating violence against women, especially eradicating female genital mutilation in Europe and beyond.

The Commission will also set up a yearly top-level Gender Equality Dialogue involving the European Parliament, the Council presidencies, European social partners and civil society to assess progress in implementing the strategy.

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