The European Institute for Gender Equality publishes its 2019 Gender Equality Index

Still far from the finish line is the summary of the 2019 index, which was launched by the European Institute for Gender Equality in Brussels on 15 October. The index is an annual measuring tool aimed at tracking progress made in achieving gender equality in the EU across six different domains: work, money, knowledge, power, time and health. The average index score across all six domains is 67.4 out of 100, clearly showing that more efforts and commitments are needed to make further progress on gender equality in the European Union.

Looking at the different EU Member States, Sweden and Denmark can consider themselves as most gender equal with 83.6 and 77.5 respectively. At the lowest end are Greece and Hungary, with 51.2 and 51.9.

Some take-aways from the different domains:

  • Work: the overall EU employment rate is 67% for women and 79% for men. Full-time employment across the EU is 41% for women and 57% for men. The index shows that women with a lower educational level, women with disabilities and women aged between 15-24 find it especially difficult to obtain full-time employment.
  • Money: the overall EU gender gap in monthly earnings is 20% and varies considerably among different EU Member States. No overall improvements have been made regarding the 16% gender pay gap and the 35% gender pension gap.
  • Knowledge: the share of female graduates in tertiary education is growing faster than the share of male graduates. However, the uneven concentration of women in certain types of studies remains a problem for the EU.
  • Time: on average, 79% of women and 34% of men are engaged in daily household work. In all EU Member States expect Austria and Denmark women are less involved in sporting or other cultural and leisure activities compared to men.
  • Power: this domain has seen the biggest improvement since 2005. While 10 EU Member States have introduced quotas to increase gender balance in parliaments, 4 EU Member States have already achieved gender balanced parliaments. Women, however, remain less represented on company boards.
  • Health: on average, women live 6% longer than men. Both men and women are generally satisfied with their access to healthcare. However, single mothers, women with disabilities and women with lower education levels report unmet needs for dental care services.

In 2019, the index had a thematic focus on work-life-balance. With the Work-Life-Balance Directive adopted earlier this year and the focus shifting to enforcement at national level, it is a good moment to take stock:

  • 34% of women and 23% of men aged 20-49 are not eligible for parental leave. This is due to different reasons, such as not being in paid employment, being self-employed, being a same-sex couple or having a migrant status.
  • 58% of informal carers of children and 62% of informal carers for older people or people with disabilities are women.

 Click here to learn more about the Gender Equality Index and read the different country sheets?