Gender Equality Index: women’s lives are improving in Europe

largeon the way to completion gender equality in Italy it is still uphill. Despite the decisive progress at the European level, our country is not among those that stand out for particularly positive results or very important and rapid steps forward: let’s say it the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) which last October presented the conclusions of the index forgender equality. Here are the results

The good news is: the living conditions of women in Europe as a whole are improvingIn fact, last year saw his biggest year-to-year jump ever, totaling 70.2 out of 100 and recording his best score ever.

This year’s main theme and the results achieved

The index is constructed by measurement 7 macro-dimensions: power, labor market participation, health, time, violence, education and wealth. This year, out of a maximum of 100, his scoreThe EU averages 70.2, up from 68.6 in 2022. However, the difference between Member States is significant: some countries make notable improvements, others stagnate or even lose points. From the analysis of EIGE it emerges first of all that the countries with the best results such as e.g Sweden, Holland and Denmark they continue to be at the top of the pointer, as they have done for over a decade. However, their progress has plateaued or suffered a drop, as in the case of Finland and France. This clearly shows that the results achieved cannot be taken for granted, but rather must be supported by measures to sustain progress.

As Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission for Values ​​and Transparency, underlined: “Much remains to be done, for example, to fix the gender pay gap and gender-based violence. On this last point, I call on the co-legislators to reach a constructive agreement on our proposal to combat violence against women and domestic violence, for the safety of all women and girls.”

The central theme of the 2023 index update is the socially just transition of the European Green Deal and its implications for gender equality. By focusing on the different impacts of climate change on women and men, the index highlights the need for a socially just transition that takes into account the needs of specific people and groups: the world has been hit by repeated shocks and multiple crises.

What remains constant is the fact that when crisis approaches, women and girls suffer disproportionately.

Crises and crises constantly threaten to create new challenges and reverse years of progress in women’s rights and gender equality

In the meantime, the area where Europe does best is health: the community average is 88.5 points, which was also obtained thanks to the best result of all, recorded in the sub-sector of access to services (97.3 points). At European level, compared to 2020, the highest increase is that related to “year” (+3.6 total points) which reaches 68.5 points. In this sector the rise is due to the results in the “care activities” subsector (+9.6 points), today at 78.7 points. However, as the index states, “this increase is mainly due to women’s lower participation in unpaid care activities and housework in general, rather than men’s higher participation in these activities.”

The dimensions”candies” And “money” there remain those that need to be worked on in an even more targeted way: the first registers the greatest inequalities and in 2023 the EU will reach an average of 59.1 points. A similar situation occurs in “money” which although scored 82.6 points, shows signs of regression.

The situation in Italy

With 68.2 points out of 100L’Italy is in 13th place in the European Union on gender equality. Although its current score is still 2 points below that of the EU as a whole, since 2010 Italy’s score has risen by 14.9 points, falling into what EIGE defines as “catch-ups”: that is, states which show the lowest scores on the EU average but are making the fastest progress in closing the gap with the rest of Europe.

As far as gender equality is concerned, our country remains below the European average in all but two indicators: health and strengthin which he recorded 89.2 points and 62.7 points respectively

But a figure that should be read in comparison: at the top is Sweden (with 85.1 points), followed by the more culturally similar France (83.8 points, in second place) and Spain (third with 81.1 points) .

The sector in which our country is further behind it is that of work, where it only reaches 65 points: the lowest result among all the countries examined

The European average here reaches 73.8, led by the results of virtuous Sweden (84.8 points), Denmark (82.1 points), but also Malta, in third place with 80 points.

Finally, the report highlights three fundamental aspects. The first concerns its subjectunpaid help, where the gender gap is closing, but not because men are doing more care work, women are just doing less.

The second point refers to legislative changes on obtaining positions of economic and political power reserved for women: “Legislative changes played a role important role in increasing female representation in leadership positions on corporate boards and in the political sphere, more targeted actions are needed to accelerate progress.”

The last point is touching labor market: Despite progress, the labor market remains as segregated by gender today as it was 10 years ago

The green and digital transition requires upgrading and retraining. Women are at risk of being marginalized because of their own less representation in STEM disciplines; – ie science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and this will contribute to widening the gender gap in employment opportunities.

Working transversally and synergistically across all these dimensions, suggests EIGE, is what is needed to ensure that gender equality is not measurable. But documented.

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