EIGE launches Gender Equality Index 2015: Marginal improvements in gender equality
Since 2005 the EU is still only half way towards gender equality, as shown by the Gender Equality Index 2015 of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Two years on from the launch in 2013, EIGE has built a time series of the Index covering 2005, 2010 and 2012. The total score of the Index for the EU rose marginally from 51.3 out of 100 in 2005 and to 52.9 in 2012. The progress per Member State and per domain however is uneven – some Member States have improved while some have regressed. ‘The significant differences in progress among the Member States reflect the different choices of priorities and approaches in implementing EU policies and objectives’ concludes Virginija Langbakk, Director of EIGE. Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová underlines: ‘Progress towards gender equality in the Member States is real, but important gaps remain. I am committed to tackling the remaining gender gaps in Europe. The gender equality index developed by EIGE is a valuable instrument to measure progress achieved by Member States on the way to gender equality.’
The Gender Equality Index is built around six core domains - work, money, knowledge, time, power and health – and two satellite domains: violence against women and intersecting inequalities. It is based on EU policy priorities and it assesses the impact of gender equality policies in the European Union and by Member States over time.
In the Gender Equality Index 2015, the domain of power shows the greatest progress with scores rising from 31.4 out of 100 in 2005 to 39.7 in 2012. Despite this, men’s over-representation in decision-making positions remains prevalent in all Member States both in politics and the economy.
The domain of time reveals the lowest score (37.6 out of 100) across the six core domains of the Index. This highlights the unequal division of unpaid work between women and men in the private sphere, which remains the greatest barrier to gender equality.
The satellite domain of violence shows that the context in which violence against women takes place, societal attitudes towards violence and trust in institutions, matter in explaining the levels of violence against women. Results show that data collection in this area needs a concerted effort from the Member States.
EIGE, the EU knowledge centre on equality between women and men, has developed this unique tool to measure the progress of gender equality in the European Union and its Member States. The Index has become increasingly significant in the past years with some Member States adopting it as their standard monitoring tool within their national or regional statistical systems (e.g. Ireland, Estonia, Luxembourg and the Basque Region).
 The Index provides a score of how well Member States perform together with how successful they are at closing gender gaps. This score lies between 1 and 100, where 100 represents the best situation.