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Posted by on in Sex Discrimination
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EC needs more progress in gender equality

A new report from the European Commission has said that the EU must improve equality between men and women if it is respond effectively to the current economic crisis.

 

The Commission's latest annual report on gender equality looks at progress made during 2011 on equality between women and men, and is part of the Commission's broader report on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in the past year. It highlights the main developments at both national and European level across the five key areas in the EU's overall gender equality strategy for 2010-2015, namely: the economy, equal pay, decision-making, gender-based violence and gender equality beyond the EU.

The report has found that while some progress has been made in increasing the number of women in top jobs in business and in narrowing the gender pay gap, major challenges remain.

In the labour market, the employment rate for women is 62.1%, compared to 75.1% for men, meaning the EU can only reach the overall Europe 2020 target rate of 75% employment with a strong commitment to gender equality.

The gender pay gap has narrowed slightly across the EU. On average, women earn 16.4% less than men for every hour worked. The gender pay gap is caused by multiple factors such as labour market segregation and differences in educational choices.

A growing body of evidence points to significant economic benefits stemming from a better gender balance in economic decision-making. Having more women in top jobs can contribute to a more productive and innovative working environment and improved company performance overall. This bolsters competitiveness.

Women account for 60% of new university graduates but few make it to the top of companies. Opening the door to senior positions acts as an incentive for women to enter and stay in the workforce, helping to raise female employment rates and making better use of women's potential as human resources.

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