Equality gap between men and women barely changes


Eastern Europe


Covid-19 contributed to the fact that the gender relations in the European Union did not much change. Illustration Flickr

The equality gap between men and women has barely changed, research of the European Institute for Gender Equality showed on Thursday. The institute does not expect this to change in the short term because of the Covid pandemic. Females are still overrepresented in health care jobs, which results in them being at bigger risk of getting Covid-19.

On the other hand, males have more chance of hospitalisation if they do get infected with the virus. This is linked to "their health behaviours, and pre-existing conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which are more common among men", the institute states on its website.


According to the European Institute, Covid also caused women to spend more time on unpaid work, such as taking care of the children and doing the household.

In contrast, the report shows that more men are holding leading positions than women. Especially in politics and businesses, there is a significant gap between the number of males and the number of females who have a high position.

Carlien Scheele, director of the European Institute of Gender Equality, would rather have seen a more significant change in the equality gap between males and females. She concludes that "Europe has made fragile gains in gender equality" and that "big losses are emerging due to the Covid-19 pandemic."

According to Helena Dalli, EU Commissioner for Equality, equality is necessary to "allow women and men, in all their diversity, to live a full and active life in society."

Highest score

In total, the European Union scored 68 out of 100 points in the Gender Equality Index 2021. Last year, this score was 67.4. Sweden and Denmark received the highest score, with both hitting 77.8. The Netherlands climbed to the third place: scoring 75.3. Greece was placed on the bottom of the list: it scored 52.5 points. Slovenia is the only country that descended on the list.



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