This report presents evidence on gender inequalities in financial independence in the EU, with a particular focus on how financial independence has been defined and measured. It also presents evidence on the impact of tax–benefit systems in EU Member States on gender inequalities in financial independence and explores consequences associated with financial dependence, including economic violence.

The report finds that:

  • Financial independence has most often been defined in narrow terms, focusing on earnings and income specifically within the context of female–male partnerships
  • Gender inequalities in pay, earnings and income are entrenched and enduring, with gender gaps consistently being to the detriment of women
  • Women are consistently disadvantaged compared to men in relation to wealth, with gender gaps increasing with age or presence of children, and women often shouldering financial responsibility for making ends meet.
  • Data limitations make it difficult to estimate gender inequalities in financial independence across all its dimensions
  • Tax–benefit systems in EU Member States reduce gender inequalities in financial independence, but largely for the working age population
  • Consequences associated with financial dependence are wide-ranging, and financial dependence has been linked to different forms of violence, such as economic violence