Gender Equality in Europe

Last week, the world celebrated International Women`s Day. It`s true that many improvements have been made over the years with regards to women`s rights. However, there is still a long way to go to achieve equality of rights compared to men.

In order to breach the gap between women and men concerning employment, the EU established in its 2020 Horizon Strategy the goal to boost women employment to 75 percent. It should be noted that until 2016 the mark attained was 65 percent.

In 2012, the UE Commission approved a regulation aiming at the largest corporations in the continent. The objective was to see 40 percent of women holding positions at boards of direction by 2020. The figures released in 2016 display that only 24 percent of the quota was reached.

France had passed a similar regulation already in 2011, the country succeeded to surpass Scandinavian countries on this matter. So far boards of direction in France have 41 percent of women. France is followed by Sweden (37%) and Italy (32%).

If France is paving the way towards the feminization of companies, the country still struggles with the pay gap. Women usually earn 75% of the wage of their male counterparts.

Last week was also marked by a massive female movement in Spain. Women went on strike for 24 hours to demand gender equality. Approximately 5 million women took part in the initiative. Many trains were canceled and traffic at the Spanish capital was disturbed.

Spanish women might have been inspired by a similar movement that took place in Iceland in 1975.

Spain also copes with one of the highest rates of gender violence against women. In 2017, 49 women were killed by their partners of ex-partners. A sad reality that has to change.


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