Gender equality: time to close the gap


It would take another 70 years for women to earn the same as men with the current pace of progress, according to the European Commission. Europe might be one of the world’s leaders when it comes to gender equality, but in the EU women still get on average lower salaries and pensions and continue to be underrepresented in political and economic positions of power and decision-making. A report adopted by the women’s rights committee today urges the EU to step up its efforts.

Current situation

The employment rate for women reached an all-time high in 2015 with 64%, compared to 76% for men. Women are four times more likely than men to engage and remain in part-time work. They are also more likely than men to have added responsabilities. Three quarters of household works and two thirds of parental care were done by working women.

Although women have on average a higher level of education than men, they continue to earn less and receive lower pensions. The pay gap in the EU was 16.1% in 2014, while the gap for pensions accounted for 40.2%. In half of EU countries this gap has even increased.
In national parliaments the share of women has increased from 21% in 2005 to 28% in 2016. In the European Parliament their share increased from 30% to 37% over the same period.


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