Decision-making driving change, segregation blocking it

Achievements in gender equality from 2010 differ considerably across domains and countries. From both short-term (2018–2019) and longer-term (2010–2019) perspectives, progress has been most marked in the domain of power, with this domain alone accounting for around two thirds (71 %) of the improvement in the overall 2021 Index score. since the previous edition (Table 1). The contribution of other domains is much lower, while that of the domain of time is negative over the longer term.

Since 2010, the score for the domain of power has increased by 13.1 points in the EU, reflecting gains in this area by nearly all Member States. Progress is most evident in France (+ 29.0 points), Luxembourg (+ 27.8 points), Italy (+ 27.0 points), Germany (+ 24.5 points) and Spain (+ 24.3 points). Between 2018 and 2019, progress on gender balance in decision-making was fast-paced in Spain (+ 7.5 points) and the Netherlands (+ 6.8), with Belgium (+ 5.3 points), Lithuania (+ 5.1 points) and Luxembourg (+ 5.0 points) following suit. Only Bulgaria (– 1.3 points), Slovenia (– 2.0 points) and Romania (– 2.8 points) saw reversals (Table 2).

Table 1. Percentage contribution of different domains to Gender Equality Index progress scores in the short term (2018–2019) and long term (2010–2019) in the EU
NB: No new data was available in 2019 for the domain of time. Last data available as of 2016.

The domain of money accounted for 8 % of the total increase in the Index between 2010 and 2019 and for 18 % of the increase from 2018 to 2019. Countries that initially had lower gender equality scores for the financial and economic situations of women and men progressed faster. From 2018 to 2019, the following countries increased their scores: Romania by 6.1 points, Lithuania by 3.8 points, Latvia by 3.5 points and Estonia by 3.2 points. Sweden was alone in seeing its score fall, by 1.4 points.

While gender equality scores in the domain of work grew steadily from 2010, progress almost stalled in all Member States in 2018, largely because of gender segregation in employment. Only Malta (+ 1.4 points) and Luxembourg (+ 1.1 points) made gains, albeit small ones.

In the domain of knowledge, Latvia was alone in raising its score by more than 1 point (+ 1.6 points) from 2018 to 2019. However, there was regression in Malta (– 1.9 points) and Italy (– 2.9 points). Despite increased educational attainment of women and men in the EU, the gender divide in some fields of study persists, resulting in an overall reversal in the domain of knowledge.

Table 2. Changes in the Gender Equality Index and domain scores, by EU Member State, long term (2010–2019) and short term (2018–2019), in points
NB: Green indicates an increase of > 1 point and red a decrease of > 1 point. For the domain of time, data for 2019 is not available.