European Commission


European Commission

Gender Equality

Smiling business people standing together  Yuri Arcurs, Fotolia

Equality between women and men is one of the European Union's founding values. It goes back to 1957 when the principle of equal pay for equal work became part of the Treaty of Rome.

The European Union's achievements in fostering equality between women and men have helped to change the lives of many European citizens for the better.

Although inequalities still exist, the EU has made significant progress over the last decades. This is mainly thanks to:

Some encouraging trends include the increased number of women in the labour market and their progress in securing better education and training.

However, gender gaps remain and in the labour market, women are still over-represented in lower paid sectors and under-represented in decision-making positions.

The Strategy for equality between women and men represents the European Commission's work program on gender equality for the period 2010-2015. It is a comprehensive framework committing the Commission to promote gender equality into all its policies for the following thematic priorities:

The strategy highlights the contribution of gender equality to economic growth and sustainable development , and support the implementation of the gender equality dimension in the Europe 2020 Strategy. It builds on the priorities of the Women's Charter and on the experience of the Roadmap for equality between women and men

Progress are reported every year and presented in a Report on Equality between women and men.