EIGE: AN EFFECTIVE INSTRUMENT FOR PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY IN EUROPE

To improve the analysis of gender policies in Europe, Recíprocamente recommends consulting the platform developed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). The main task of EIGE is to assist the European Institutions and the Member States to integrate the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women into the public policies and to fight against any discrimination on grounds of sex (REGULATION (EC) No 1922/2006). The Institute’s action is focused on 4 goals:

– collection and analysis of comparable data on gender equality issues

– development of methodological tools, especially to help integrate gender equality in all policy areas

– facilitating the sharing of best practices and dialogue among stakeholders

– raising public awareness.

Among the many instruments of analysis that are available in the platform (good practices, country-specific information, statistics, etc.), we indicate the publication in June 2015 of the “Gender Equality Index 2015“, a useful tool for measuring progress in gender equality in various policy areas. According to the document, “the results of the Gender Equality Index show that there have been visible, albeit marginal, improvements between 2005 and 2012 in the domains covered by the Gender Equality Index. With an overall score of 52.9 out of 100 in 2012, the EU remains only halfway towards equality, having risen from 51.3 in 2005. Progress needs to increase its pace if the EU is to fulfill its ambitions and meet the Europe 2020 targets”.

More specifically on work, care, and social protection issues, we signal the publication by EIGE on July 2015 of a new document called “Reconciliation of work, family and private life in the European Union” (also available in French and German). We reproduce below the major challenges identified by the report.

– the fight against gender stereotypes (through awareness-raising to be addressed in education, on a company level, on the tax system),

– the fight against the high gender segregation in the European labour markets (encouraging non-traditional work choices, by strong policies encouraging and/or committing companies and especially public employers to reduce the gender pay gap, etc.),

– To improve the availability, affordability and quality of (child)care facilities (by a substantial increase in the number of care facilities),

– to address and involve men in care and other unpaid work (with awareness-raising activities for the promotion of men’s role in the family, and a reform of the parental leave system),

– On a policy level, improve the awareness of the importance and (social as well as economic) benefits of supporting an adequate work–life balance (with a better political commitment, well-established institutional mechanisms, legislation strengthened, and more information on the facts and benefits of reconciliation practices),

– To increase the involvement of stakeholders (employers should be motivated to invest in family-friendly practices).