Gender equality and economic independence : part-time work and self-employment : review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States : main findings
Equal access to economic resources is not just a matter of ensuring equal economic independence for women and men, but it has also been recognised as a prerequisite for the achievement of economic growth, prosperity and competitiveness. Women's labour market participation is thus vital to foster economic growth and promote gender equality. This publication summarises the report ‘Gender equality and economic independence: part time work and self-employment', prepared by EIGE in support of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU (first half of 2014). As such it is part of the ongoing review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU. The report reviewed area F, 'Women in the Economy', and proposed new indicators for strategic objective F1, concerned with women's economic rights and independence, which were endorsed by the Council in June 2014. It addresses the opportunities and challenges for women and men with regard to part-time work and self-employment. While both forms of employment can constitute important ways of facilitating labour force participation and can enable the reconciliation of a variety of life demands and interests over the course of life, women's and men's participation in and access to both forms is significantly gendered, having significant negative effects, especially for women. Overall, the report finds substantial gender gaps in the labour market, indicating that transformative measures are required to address the structural obstacles women face in accessing and/or participating in the labour market.