Highlights of the Gender Equality Index 2020

Main findings

The overall Gender Equality Index score for the EU in 2018 is 67.9 points, showing the urgent need for progress in all Member States. The score has increased by only 0.5 points since 2017 and by 4.1 points since 2010. At this pace – 1 point every 2 years – it will take more than 60 years to achieve gender equality in the EU.

The gender balance in decision-making is a major driver of change in almost all Member States. In the long term (2010–2018), the domain of power has contributed 65 % of the overall increase in the Gender Equality Index in the EU. In 2017–2018, the contribution was even more significant, reaching 81 %. Progress in the domains of work and knowledge contributed only 8 % and 6 %, respectively, to the overall improvement in gender equality in the EU.

Initial results of analysis of the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic suggest that there is a risk that the fragile gains achieved with regard to women’s independence in the past decade will be rolled back. Physical distancing measures have had a substantial impact on sectors employing a high proportion of women, with women’s employment falling more sharply than it did during the 2008 recession. In addition, the closure of schools and other care services has greatly increased childcare needs, with a likely disproportionate impact on working mothers.