As a comparable measurement tool, the Gender Equality Index is important for reflecting gender (in)equalities and monitoring the progress of gender equality in different areas of society not only in the EU but also among the Western Balkans and Türkiye. It allows for regional comparison among EU Member States, candidate countries, and potential candidates.
With EIGE’s support, the development of Gender Equality Indices started in the Western Balkans and Türkiye in 2015 and it continues to be the flagship initiative of EIGE’s cooperation with the region under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
So far, four EU candidate countries (Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) have calculated their full Gender Equality Index. Three of them have already more than one release of the Index. Their scores are slightly lower than the EU-27 average of 68.6 (2022), whereas Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo* have calculated only some domains and sub-domains of the Index so far.
Note: EU Gender Equality Index: EIGE’s calculations, data mostly from 2020; Western Balkan countries calculations: data mostly pertains to: Albania (2018), Montenegro (2017), North Macedonia (2019) and Serbia (2018). Comparison should be approached with caution because data for different countries and for the EU are not harmonised fully in terms of the years to which data refer and in terms of individual indicators and their data sources.
Gender Equality Index scores in different areas of life in the Western Balkans
The Gender Equality Index provides results for each of the six core domains: work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. There are two additional domains: intersecting inequalities and violence. Not all countries of the region have calculated a full Index (i.e. taking into account all domains). Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo* have calculated only some domains and sub-domains so far due to the partial availability of data.
None of the EU candidate countries have yet developed full additional domains, though Serbia and North Macedonia provided sets of available indicators on violence in their national reports.
Click on each domain to see the most recent Gender Equality Index scores available in each EU candidate country:
Note: The presented results should be read with caution because the data from different countries are not fully harmonised in terms of the years to which they refer, individual indicators and data sources. Data sources and years are specified for each domain and sub-domain in Annex 1 of the EIGE report below.
Click on each country to see the gender equality situation across all areas of life in each country:
N/A - scores not available
Note: The data in this Chart mainly refers to 2018 for Albania (first Index), 2019–2021 for Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2018 for Kosovo*, 2017 for Montenegro (first Index), 2018–2020 for North Macedonia (second Index) and 2018 for Serbia (third Index).
Regular updates of Index scores allow to see not just a snapshot of the gender equality situation but also trends over time. Already three EU candidate countries have developed more than one Gender Equality Index, which demonstrate slow but continuous progress.
Note: Years in the figure refer to data source years and not publishing years
Measuring gender equality progress in the Western Balkans
The Gender Equality Index not only provides a policymaking tool for improving gender equality in national policy areas of each country but also allows initial comparisons to be made within the region of the Western Balkans and with the EU.
In 2023, EIGE developed a comparative overview of the scores of the domains and sub-domains of the Gender Equality Index in the region. Despite some differences in reference years and data sources for each country, the publication provides insights on the state of play of gender equality in the region. It also fosters peer-to-peer learning and sharing, which are important for the advancement of regional cooperation and of the accession of the region to the EU.
This publication was developed under the European Union’s Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) project ‘Increased capacity of EU candidate countries and potential candidates to measure and monitor the impact of gender equality policies (2018-2023)’.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence
Read more about the countries and their national Gender Equality Index:
EIGE supports EU candidate countries and potential candidates in their calculation of Gender Equality Indices by assessing their readiness, providing coaching and continuous assistance in applying the methodology, finding secondary sources of indicators and ensuring the overall quality of the Gender Equality Index.