Monday

25th Jun 2018

Gender equality best in Sweden, worst in Greece

  • Jourova says she will propose new measures later this year to address gender pay gaps (Photo: European Commission)

Sweden and Denmark top the EU in terms of gender equality in society, while Greece and Hungary rank at the bottom.

A report out on Wednesday (11 October) from the European Institute for Gender Equality, an EU agency in Lithuania, noted an overall "snail's pace" in progress towards gender equality in the EU when comparing 2015 to 2005.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... our join as a group

"We are still a long way off from reaching a gender-equal society and all countries in the European Union have room to improve," said the institute's director, Virginija Langbakk, in a statement.

The report ranked EU states on an index score from one to 100 in terms of work, money, knowledge, time, power and health between 2005 and 2015. It also probed issues of violence.

The EU average was 66.2, only a slight improvement of 4.2 points when compared to 2005.

With 100 seen as full equality, Sweden posted the best index score at 82.6, followed by Denmark (76.8). Finland and the Netherlands placed a close third best.

Greece ranked at the bottom with 50, followed by Hungary (50.8) and Slovakia (52.4).

Scores had increased in most other member states, except for the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Finland, Slovakia, and the UK where no progress had been made in 10 years.

The report also noted that Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Spain, and the UK were each ranked two positions lower in the index in 2015 than in 2005.

The biggest improvements were seen in Italy (+ 12.9), followed by Cyprus (+ 9.2). Ireland and Slovenia had also improved their scores by 7.6 points each.

Many of those increases were due, in part, to a better balance in decision-making.

But Langbakk said in some areas, gaps between the two genders is now worse than 10 years ago.

The report noted that 12 EU states have slipped backward on housework, for instance. Overall, some 79 percent of women engaged in daily cooking and housework, compared to only one third of men.

Time is also an issue given that by 2015 only nine EU states (Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Estonia, France, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden) offered child care for at least 90 percent of children aged between 3 years old and the mandatory school age.

The EU's commissioner for justice, Vera Jourova, noted she intends to propose further measures later this year to address the gender pay gap.

"Equality is not about making women more like men, but about creating an environment where both sexes can have equal choices," she said.

Earlier this month, she pointed out in a tweet how a marathon in Brussels awarded €1,000 to men who placed first, while giving women only €300.

Stakeholder

We must renew Europe for all Europeans

A call for socialist values and rights at a time when Europe is facing a number of existential threats, says a group of progressive European affairs ministers.

Opinion

Why EU diplomacy needs more women

Greek woman who recently became EU foreign service's gender equality officer could change male-dominated club of international diplomacy.

Opinion

Fighting for young people's social future

Young people in the gig economy in big cities need 'one-stop shops', as pioneered in Rotterdam, to help them access all their rights - but that requires funding.

Feature

Resetting the gender balance through football

Many sports, like football, have been so heavily male-dominated at every level that women and girls have battled against poor odds to be treated as equals in the game. FIFA aims to change that.

Opinion

EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'

The subject is mandatory by law in some form in nearly all EU countries - but it is mostly reproduction- and biology-centred, covering topics such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.

Opinion

Istanbul Convention: clearing away the fog of misconceptions

On International Womens' Day, it is time to dispel some misconceptions, deliberate or otherwise, about the Istanbul Convention, which protects women from domestic violence - but has not yet been signed by every member state of the Council of Europe.

Opinion

EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'

The subject is mandatory by law in some form in nearly all EU countries - but it is mostly reproduction- and biology-centred, covering topics such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.

News in Brief

  1. Nine countries to sign up for Macron's military initiative
  2. Re-elected Erdogan potentially in power until 2028
  3. Macron's popularity drops among French pensioners
  4. Tajani calls for €6bn investment to halt migration
  5. Major demo in London for second EU referendum
  6. Venice Commission: Hungary should repeal NGO law
  7. Trump threatens to slap 20 percent tariff on EU cars
  8. EU closes deficit procedure against France

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  2. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  4. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  5. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  11. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  12. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform

Latest News

  1. Progressive CAP alternative only hope for sustainability
  2. Ponytailed green MEP joins 'the other side of the table'
  3. EU leaders still in search of migration plan
  4. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  5. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future
  6. Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China
  7. Merkel and Juncker's mini-summit risks fiasco
  8. Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us