Gender equality in time use: some gains but not sufficient to offset overall stalling

The domain of time[1] is the third lowest scoring of the six domains comprising the Gender Equality Index and is characterised by a persistent lack of progress and growing inequality (EIGE, 2017e, 2019b). Since 2010, the EU score has stagnated, with a slight decrease of 0.6 points (Figure 15)[2] to 65.7.

Scores for the domain of time and its subdomains (2017), and changes over time

Owing to the absence of up-to-date data on time use, the score for the domain of time has not been updated since 2017. Since 2010, 10 Member States have seen their score decrease (the Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria). The most pronounced regressions have been seen in Belgium (– 5 points), Germany (– 4.8 points) and Finland (– 2.7 points).

The majority of EU countries have observed improvements in their scores since 2010, ranging from increases of 9.9 points in Malta, 9.1 points in Greece and 8.8 points in Portugal to increases of 1.2 points in Croatia and 1 point in Estonia. France and Hungary have not seen their scores change substantially since 2010 (+ 0.7 and + 0.2 points, respectively).

As shown in Figure 16, the EU score for the domain of time (65.7 points) masks a variety of national circumstances, with scores ranging from 42.7 in Bulgaria to 90.1 in Sweden. Time has the second broadest dispersion of countries’ scores in the Gender Equality Index (after the domain of power). The social activities subdomain, with a score of 61.6 points in 2018, reveals higher levels of gender inequality than the care subdomain (70 points).

Figure 16. Scores for the domain of time, and changes since 2010, in the EU Member States