Equality between women and men is developing in Europe

Sounds better! After years of stagnation, equality between women and men in the European Union (EU) has made some progress in recent months, according to an index calculated by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

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“2023. it reached 70.2 points out of 100, surpassing the 70-point mark for the first time and registering the largest annual increase – 1.6 points.”information about the institution is provided in its annual report published on Tuesday 24 October. “Europe is moving in the right direction”, greets its president, Karlien Šela. Before qualifying: “But it is not enough, and progress is fragile. »

For a decade, EIGE, which is affiliated with the European Commission, has compiled a series of indicators on wages, working hours, health and various inequalities between women and men to compare the development of member states. Over the years, its index has made it possible to measure the impact of recessions, the Covid-19 pandemic, during which women were on the front line, or even national policies implemented to promote parity.

External aid is on the rise

The 2023 report offers a contrasting panorama. Not surprisingly, the Nordic countries (Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark) are at the top of the ranking, while France is in sixth place with a score of 76 out of 100. If their results are below the European Union average, Portugal, Italy, Malta. and Greece have made clear progress in recent years, while Hungary, Romania and Poland are stagnating.

In detail, progress is notable for time spent on care (of children or parents) and housework, where the index jumped by 9.6 points compared to 2022. It’s less because men do more… just because women are a little less involved in unpaid household work overall, especially with the increasing use of outside help like home delivery services.

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“So it’s not about structural changes”regrets the report, quoting Claudia Goldin when awarding the 2023 Nobel Prize in Economics: “We will never have gender equality until we have equality in couples as well. » According to the study, 63% of European women say they cook meals at home every day, compared to only 36% of Europeans.

There are also improvements in representation in power structures (+1.9 points): the presence of women at the head of corporate or parliamentary governing bodies increases thanks to various national laws on parity. Take the example of the Cope-Zimmermann law in France, which since 2011 requires large companies to appoint at least 40% women to their boards of directors.

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Georgie Collins

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