Gender equality is a fundamental value of the European Union and is essential for its development, growth and cohesion. As such, measuring progress in gender equality is an integral part of effective policymaking. Since its launch in 2013, the Gender Equality Index of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has been recognised for its notable contribution to policy debates and increased awareness about gender equality at the EU and national levels.

The Gender Equality Index is a composite indicator that measures the complex concept of gender equality. It is a comprehensive measure for assessing the state of art and monitoring progress in gender equality across the EU over time. The Index relies on a conceptual framework that embraces different theoretical approaches to gender equality and integrates key gender equality issues within the EU policy framework (EIGE, 2013). It offers an easy-to-interpret measure for gender equality, indicating how far (or close) the EU and its Member States are from achieving gender equality. To this end, it measures gender gaps and takes into account the context and different levels of achievement of Member States.

Since the Index considers gaps that are to the detriment of either women or men as being equally problematic, a high overall score reflects both small (or absent) gender gaps and a good situation for all (e.g. good quality of work of both women and men). Finally, it suggests the different outcomes of EU and national policies for women and men and supports the development and implementation of evidence-based policymaking in the area of gender equality.

Further information

Explore the Gender Equality Index 2017 online

Press release: Gender Equality Index 2017 - Progress at a snail's pace