This concept indicates the absence of barriers to economic, political and social participation on grounds of sex and gender. Such barriers are often indirect, difficult to discern and caused and maintained by structural phenomena and social representations that have proved particularly resistant to change. Equal opportunities as one of a set of gender equality objectives is founded on the rationale that a whole range of strategies, actions and measures are necessary to redress deep-rooted and persistent inequalities.
See also: gender equality
European Commission (1998). 100 Words for Equality: A Glossary of Terms on Equality between Women and Men.