On 7 March 2011, Social Affairs Ministers (EPSCO Council) adopted a new European Pact for Equality between Women and Men covering the period 2011-2020. "Gender in all policy" is one of the key principles of this new European initiative.
The 2011-2020 European Pact calls for:
the promotion of a better professional and personal life balance for women as well as for men, through better childcare services and flexible working arrangements,
the combat all forms of violence against women through stronger work on prevention and protection as well as a close monitoring of the existing strategies. In these developments, the role and responsability of men and boys should be emphasised.
In that context, the Council urges Member States to put in place the following measures:
promote women’s employment with a particular attention in combating discrimination in its different forms and reduce gender segregation,
ensure equal pay for equal work of equal value,
promote women’s empowerment in decision-making, political and economical life,
ensure the effective implementation of initiatives in favour of gender equality.
In its conclusions, the Council emphasised the link between the 2010-2015 Commission Strategy for Equality between Women and Men and "Europe 2020: the European Strategy for jobs and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". Gender equality being crucial in areas such as education, employment and social inclusion notably.
While loopholes remain, statistics agregated by gender being one of them, the Council strongly encourages Member States and the Commission to make the"gender in all policy" a rule.
It is worth noting that there is no specific mention of health and gender equality in health.
The 2010 Progress Report on Equality between Women and Men is published. You will find below some of its key findings.
Globally, women’s rights and situation generally improved but progress in the five key areas of the European Union Strategy for Equality between Women and Men remain low and slow.
Equal pay for equal work and work of equal value
Women earn in average 17.5% less than men
Equality in decision-making
While they represent the majority of the population in terms of number, women are still underepresented amongst the highest sphere. In 2010, 3% of the largest publicly quoted companies had a women chairing the highest decision-making body. Legislation appears as a solution with the example of Norway introducing the first quota of gender equity in the boardroom in 2006. It resulted in 42% of women’s presence in the boards of large companies in 2009 while they were 22% in 2004.
Dignity, integrity and end gender-based violence
health inequality based on gender remain considerable,
According to the 2010 Eurobarometer survey, 1 in 4 persons are aware of a woman victim of domestic violence amongst their friends or family circle and 1 out of 5 aware of a person acting violent. Data on violence are however missing because of the nature of the phenomenon. This is generally the case of statistics aggregated by sex.
Gender equality beyond the Union
the European Commission to follow actions put in place in the field of gender equity in candidates and potential candidates countries,
the United Nations entity "UN WOMEN" operational since January 2011
European Institute for Gender Equality officially launched in June 2010,
the foreseen Gender Equality Dialogue to gather key stakeholders such as Council presidencies and key civil society representatives.
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