Review of the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the area F: Women and the Economy

Despite various policies and measures for the advancement of gender equality promoted and implemented in the European Union Member States, women still remain the main carers of children and the elderly. Today, in Europe, women between the ages of 25 to 44 spend three times longer than men in childcare per day. Likewise, care responsibilities account for the main reason women work far longer hours than men. As a result this limits women’s prospects to a balanced working and family life.

In December 1995, the European Council acknowledged the European Union’s commitment to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) which was adopted during the Fourth World Conference on Women. Since 1999, the Presidency of the Council presents a review which reports on the implementation of one of the twelve areas of concern of the BPfA in the Member States. One of the European Institute for Gender Equality’s primary functions is to provide technical support to the Presidencies of the Council in its follow-up of the BPfA.

The following first EIGE Report specifically focuses on the topic of the reconciliation of work and family life as a condition of equal participation in the labour market (one of the objectives expressed in the BPfA, area F: Women and the Economy).