Domain 1 – Gender equality laws and policies

This domain maps out the legislative framework with reference to gender issues, such as laws on equal treatment that have a comprehensive approach on rights and explicitly include gender as one of the possible discrimination factors.

Equality between women and men is one of the fundamental principles of the EU, and the principle of gender equality is been reinforced with legislation, both generic and specific, obliging Member States to ensure equal opportunities and equal treatment for men and women, and to combat any form of discrimination on the grounds of gender. Following the ratification of the Convention on the elimination of any form of discrimination against women (CEDAW), the EU and most European countries have been approving laws on gender equality, on a variety of areas, such as sexual harassment, equal pay, equal access to resources and services, work-life balance, and gender-based violence. European institutions have often been the first ones to approve such laws and have proved a positive model for Member States. All EU Member States have some kind of gender equality law. Nevertheless, this basic legislative framework needs regular update and monitoring, while some gender issues need continuous political attention. In addition, while national laws may be generally quite advanced with reference to rights recognition and gender issues, their application may meet practical and cultural obstacles. Therefore, efforts should be made to collect information on the actual implementation of laws and policies.

Data sources: National laws and policy documents; studies and reports.

See for example the European Parliament's analysis on Member States’ policies on Gender equality