Stalled progress in the domain of knowledge

With an overall EU score of 63.6 points, the domain of knowledge[1] has remained stagnant since the previous edition of the Gender Equality Index, improving by only 1.8 points since 2010 (Figure 11 and Figure 12).

Most Member States experienced little or no improvement – nor even any setbacks – in the knowledge domain between 2017 and 2018. Increases of at least 1 point were registered in Bulgaria (+ 1.8), Malta (+ 1.3) and Croatia (+ 1.2), while the score fell in Denmark (– 1.0). The majority of Member States registered a modest growth in their knowledge domain score between 2010 and 2018, with the greatest overall progress achieved in Italy (+ 8.1), Portugal (+ 5.6) and Romania (+ 5.2).

The biggest drops were reported in the United Kingdom (– 3.2), Germany (– 2.3) and Denmark (– 1.9). The best-performing countries in the knowledge domain were Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Luxembourg, all with scores higher than 70 points. At the opposite end of the spectrum were Croatia, Latvia and Romania, all with scores lower than 55 points.

The subdomain of attainment and participation drives overall growth in the domain of knowledge. From 2010 to 2018, it increased from 68.5 to 73.1 points, but the score has changed little since 2017.

Figure 11. Scores for the domain of knowledge and its subdomains (2018), and changes over time

Figure 12. Scores for the domain of knowledge, and changes since 2010 and 2017, in the EU Member States

Ten EU Member States have registered an increase of at least 1 point since the previous edition of the Gender Equality Index (Bulgaria, Estonia, Ireland, France, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Slovakia), while the situation has deteriorated significantly in Denmark (– 2.3), Czechia (– 2.2) and Latvia (– 1.2).

Over the long term, the most significant improvements have been made by Austria (+ 12.1), France (+ 11.7), Luxembourg (+ 11.1) and Portugal (+ 10.5). Only three countries had lower scores in 2017 than in 2010: Denmark, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.

Gender segregation in education remains a major block to gender equality in the EU, with this subdomain showing no change since 2017 (at 55.4 points) and even slightly deteriorating compared with 2010 (when the score was 55.8 points). Only five Member States have registered either an increase (Bulgaria, Croatia, Malta and Romania) or a drop (Greece) of at least 1 point since 2017.

Over the long term, Italy and Romania have achieved the most substantial progress (+ 12.1 and + 7.8 points, respectively). By contrast, there was significant regression in Germany (– 6.8), Malta (– 5.0), the United Kingdom (– 4.7) and the Netherlands (– 4.2) during 2010–2018.