published the EU Annual Report on gender equality on March 5, just before
International Women's Day 2021. The record is sobering: the effects of the
coronavirus pandemic have ensured that existing inequalities between women and
men have been exacerbated in almost all areas of life. The report also notes
the loss of past achievements.
implementation of women's rights and gender equality in the EU have been
essential factors from the very beginning.
Gender equality - a brief history
following milestones have promoted the development so far:
Gender equality was enshrined in the Treaties of Rome as a fundamental value of
the European Community.
The Council of the European Communities adopted the principle of equal pay for
The European Parliament elected Simone Veil as President in the first direct
European elections. In the same year, the European Parliament set up a
Committee on Women's Rights.
The Charter of Basic Human Rights in the EU was published. Equality between
women and men is an integral part of this.
European Parliament adopted the Directive on combating violence against women
and human trafficking.
The European Parliament was in favour of a better work-life balance with
provisions on parental leave, flexible working hours and care leave. Women won
40% of the seats in the European elections.
Present and future
equality is high on the EC's agenda. In April 2020, we reported about the Equality Strategy of the Commission from 2020 to 2025. Now, a Legislative Proposal to strengthen the principle of equal pay
through pay transparency has been adopted by the Commission. The Commission
also aims to ensure that gender equality is at the heart of post-pandemic
recovery. The European Parliament is also calling for measures to protect
women's rights and women against domestic violence following the impact of the
measures and initiatives taken at EU level were to result in women having
better access to the labour market and the gender pay gap between men and women
being eliminated, then this would also have a positive impact on social
security systems. Increased employment and higher wages for women would also
benefit social security institutions in the member states, e.g. through higher
contributions and a more sustainable insurance base. However, the road to
gender equality has become longer in all spheres of life as a result of the