Media release

EU only halfway towards gender equality

Photo: EU2015.LV
26 June 2015

On 25 June, the Parliamentary Secretary at the Latvian Ministry of Welfare, Reinis Uzulnieks, took part in one of the panel discussions at a conference in Brussels organised by the European Institute for Gender Equality to launch the European Gender Equality Index 2015.

Reinis Uzulnieks emphasised the role of the Index in evaluating the efficiency of policies and stated that this instrument encourages the EU Member States to implement measures that can ensure real equality between women and men in different areas of life. As the Index results show, the equality between women and men in the EU has been achieved only partially.

The Gender Equality Index shows the differences between women and men in core domains at individual level and for each EU Member State. The European Institute for Gender Equality uses a timeline which includes scores for 2005, 2010 and 2012. In comparison to 2005, a considerable progress has been achieved in all the domains covered by the Index. However, when comparing all the Index scores since 2010, the improvements are marginal with an overall score going up from 52.4 to 52.9 out of 100 in 2012 (1 stands for "no gender equality" and 100 for "full gender equality").

Nordic countries have the highest Gender Equality Index - Sweden (74.2), Finland (73.7) and Denmark (70.9), as well as Netherlands (68.5), Belgium (58.2) and the United Kingdom (58.0). The lowest scores are in Romania (33.7) and Slovakia (36.5).

The Gender Equality Index covers the following domains of gender equality: employment, money, knowledge, time, power and health. Such topics as violence and intersecting inequalities like employment indicators in various social groups (for instance pre-retirement age) are also analysed within the domains of the Index.

The largest gender gap at EU level is in the time domain. It features the analysis of time devoted to taking care of children and other family members, household chores, volunteering and other leisure activities. This score has remained as in 2010, namely 37.6.

Considerable differences still can be found in the domain of power. Although the indicator has improved and stands now at 39.7 in Europe, it is still relatively low.

In the health domain the EU's average score is 90.0. Health indicator includes the analysis of health inequalities between women and men and the availability of healthcare. This indicator also analyses gender gap of inhabitants not only in health self-assessment, but also in life expectancy, healthy life years, and the availability of medical and dental services.

Marika Kupče
Expert in communication