On the 6th of February the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality adopted a draft report on equality between women and men in the European Union in 2014-2015 (17 votes in favour, 3 votes against and 4 abstentions). The indicative European Parliament plenary sitting 1st reading/single reading will take place on 13 March 2017.
The draft report by Rapporteur Ernest Urtasun (Greens/EFA, ES) is looking at equal economic independence, equal pay for work of equal value, equality in decision-making, gender-based violence, gender equality in external action and cross-cutting issues. It stresses that faster progress is needed if the EU is to meet its gender equality targets of Europe 2020.
In the employment context, the draft report highlights for example that:
- the employment rate for women is at 64.5% (compared to 75.6% for men)
- women are four times more likely to engage and remain in part-time work
- the economic crises and austerity measures have disproportionally affected (young) women
- not all EU Member States have statutory provisions for paternity leave and that on average the leave provisions for fathers are poor
- despite the higher level of education of women, the gender pay gap remains 16.1%
- women work mostly in low-paid sectors
- the pension gap is at 40.2% in the EU
- in 2015 only 6.5% of presidents and 4.3% of CEOs in the largest publicity listed companies on the stock exchange were women
Outside the employment context the draft report highlights for example that:
- 33% of women in the EU have experienced physical or sexual violence
- 55% of women have been sexually harassed
- population surveys on attitudes to violence against women show a worrying prevalence of the tendency to blame the victim
- women and girls make up 80% of registered victims of trafficking in human beings
- the Eurobarometer suggests 55% of European would like the EU to intervene more in the area of equal treatment between men and women
The draft report calls on the Commission to for example:
- mainstream gender and women’s rights into all budget and policy-making and to carry out impact assessments when setting up any new policy
- include a gender pillar in the Europe 2020 strategy and to mainstream a stronger gender perspective throughout its work, particularly in the country-specific recommendations
- strengthen policies and increase investment supporting female employment in quality jobs across all sectors
- put forward a comprehensive package of legislative and non-legislative measures regarding work-life balance
- take action to close the gender pay gab
- accede the Istanbul Convention
The report also contains recommendations for EU Member States.
To follow the developments on this report and to read the full report, please check the European Parliament’s procedure file 2016/2249(INI) – Equality between women and men in the European Union in 2014-2015.