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Tag: Equality

Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day

Many groups around world are celebrating Women’s Equality Day, but why?

If you are a European woman, maybe it would be better to put your celebrations on hold!  Even better, you may be able to do something that would really be worth celebrating.

While Europe is perceived as a global leader in equality, we seem to be a long way from delivering often repeated promises, mainly from men. of doing better in the future.

By analysing data it has been shown that from 2005 to 2012, women are only halfway to equality with men, and progress has stagnated for the last 11 years.  Men continue to be over-represented in political and economic decision making: processes with over 75% of parliamentarians and 84% of corporate board members in Europe are men.  The monthly earnings gender pay gap has decreased from 22% to 20%, and women’s full-time employment rate has increased slightly.

While we could consider many more examples of the mostly unimproved position of women, maybe we can consider one of the founding documents of the EU which for an ever reducing number of women occured during their lifetime, the Treaty of Rome.

In the 1957, article 119 of the Treaty of Rome stated:

“each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value is applied”.

As we head for the 60th anniversary of this event, how long should we wait before we can organise celebrations for actual equality!





Childcare for all is an equality issue

Equality between women and men in the EU

Equality between women and men in the EU

Public consultation is open from 21/4 until 21/7/15.

It will cover the following policy areas:

  • Gender equality
  • Justice
  • Employment
  • Health
  • EU external actions
  • EU development and cooperation
  • Taxation

Target groups

The target groups are: Member States; social partner organisations; civil society organisations with an interest in gender equality issues, violence against women, and/or social issues; equality bodies; and other organisations or individuals.

It will be open from the 21/4 until 21/7/15 and will be used to collect the views of a broad public in the context of the preparation of the Commission’s policy on equality between women and men after 2015.

You can fill in the questionnaire: Equality between women and men in the EU.

and submit your contribution in any language of the EU.

Reference documents
Contact details

Questions regarding the consultation can be emailed to the address below.
Responsible service: European Commission, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers, Gender Equality Unit (JUST D.2)
E-mail: JUST-D2-unit@ec.europa.eu


Equality for Women Measure

The Equality for Women Measure

The Equality for Women Measure is a programme of positive actions implemented with ESF grant support by Gender Equality Division, Department of Justice and Equality to foster the advancement of women in Ireland in line with the National Women’s Strategy 2007-2016.

To get more on the European Social Fund, please go to their website for Ireland or find any European contact information point


Mid term review of the Stockholm Programme

DRAFT OPINION of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality for the Committee on Legal Affairs, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs on mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme (2013/2024(INI))
Rapporteur: Sirpa Pietikäinen

Nearly 66% of new jobs go to men in UK

The number of women out of work is rising and predicted to hit a 25-year high, while unemployment among men is falling, creating a “female unfriendly” UK labour market, new research claims today. A report by equality campaigners, the Fawcett Society, warns that UK government economic policies are leaving women behind with almost two out of three new private-sector jobs going to men.  Almost three times as many women as men have become long-term unemployed in the past two and a half years – 103,000 women compared with 37,000 men.

The society warns that unless action is taken, the labour market will be characterised by “persistent and rising levels” of women’s unemployment, diminishing pay levels for women, and a widening of the gender pay gap.

Sex and Power 2013 in the UK

Women’s power going even further down?

Over 80 years ago, women got the vote and its about 40 years since the Sex Discrimination Act was passed in the UK. Women, who form the majority of the population, do not appear to have achieved or improved their position particularly as public sector decision makers.

In UK politics and other areas, mostly public sector decision making, about 20 % is done by  women.
The rate of UK female members in European Parliament is barely over 30%. In the National
Assembly for Wales 41.7% of the members are women, the area with the highest female
rate. It looks, using this report, which compares figures between 2003 to 2012, little progress,
if any, has been achieved.

The rate of women in the Cabinet has fallen by 6%, making Britain one of the lowest placed locations for achieving equality in the EU.

The minority, men, retain the majority….. more

Gender equality progress equals economic growth

Progress in gender equality leads to economic growth, says EU report.

Improving equality between women and men is essential to the EU’s response to the current economic crisis, according to the European Commission’s latest annual report on gender equality. The report looks at progress over the past year in tackling the remaining gaps between women and men in employment, the economy and society in general. While some progress has been made in increasing the number of women in top jobs in business and in narrowing the gender pay gap, major challenges remain. EU countries need to get more women into the labour market if they are to meet the EU’s overall objective of 75% employment rate for all adults by 2020. One of the way’s of improving Europe’s competitiveness is to obtain better balance between women and men in economic decision-making positions. Studies have shown that gender diversity pays off and companies with higher percentages of women on corporate boards perform better than those with all-male boards.

“The economic case for getting more women into the workforce and more women into top jobs in the EU is overwhelming,” said Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. “We can only reach our economic and employment goals by making full use of all our human resources – both in the labour market as a whole and at the top. This is an essential part of our economic recovery plans.”

Today’s report on progress made during 2011 on equality between women and men is part of the Commission’s broader report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the past year (IP/12/370). It highlights the main developments at both national and European level across the five key areas in the EU’s overall gender equality strategy for 2010-2015, namely: the economy, equal pay, decision-making, gender-based violence and gender equality beyond the EU.

In the labour market, the employment rate for women is 62.1%, compared to 75.1% for men, meaning the EU can only reach the overall Europe 2020 target rate of 75% employment with a strong commitment to gender equality. Under the Europe 2020 strategy, the Commission has highlighted the need to promote a better work-life balance, in particular through adequate childcare, more access to flexible working arrangements, and by making sure tax and benefit systems do not penalise second earners (IP/11/685). These can all help to make sure more women enter and remain in the labour market.

The gender pay gap has narrowed slightly across the EU. On average, women earn 16.4% less than men for every hour worked. The gender pay gap is caused by multiple factors such as labour market segregation and differences in educational choices. The second European Equal Pay Day highlighted this issue and the potential solutions (IP/12/211). Slow progress in narrowing the gender gap in company boardrooms led the Commission to launch a public consultation on possible measures at EU level to address the problem, which risks holding back innovation and growth in Europe (IP/12/213).

Finally, the Commission took an important step towards the goal of ending gender-based violence by proposing a package of measures to strengthen the rights of crime victims (IP/11/585). This included a series of measures specifically aimed at helping women who fall victim to domestic violence.


Promoting more equality in decision-making is one of the goals set out in the European Women’s Charter (see IP/10/237), which was initiated by President José Manuel Barroso and Vice-President Reding in March 2010. The Commission pursued these commitments by adopting a Gender Equality Strategy in September 2010 for the next five years (see IP/10/1149 and MEMO/10/430). The Strategy sets out a series of actions across four further areas in addition to equality in decision-making: equal economic independence; equal pay for work of equal value; dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence; and gender equality in external policies.

A growing body of evidence points to significant economic benefits stemming from a better gender balance in economic decision-making. Having more women in top jobs can contribute to a more productive and innovative working environment and improved company performance overall. This bolsters competitiveness. Women account for 60% of new university graduates but few make it to the top of companies. Opening the door to senior positions acts as an incentive for women to enter and stay in the workforce, helping to raise female employment rates and making better use of women’s potential as human resources.

For more information: European Commission – DG Justice newsroom:


European Commission – Gender equality:


Video clip – gender pay gap:


Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner:


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