Topic 2 Female participation within the labour market

Women still remain under-represented in the labour market. In almost all professions, employment rates for women are lower than those for men around the EU. Sixty seven percent of women are currently in employment, whereas men’s employment stands at 79%.

Countries like Greece, Italy, Malta, and Croatia have a female employment of 60% and below with high differences between female and male employment rates. In those rates, the impact of parenthood is being reflected since women are most likely to assume to be the ones taking care of depended on family members (young children, elders). Furthermore, even when participating in the work force women still face economic disincentives with a pay gap greater that 10% compared to men.

Even if more women participate in the labour market, the burden of private and care responsibilities, the unpaid work, still remains. Women’s increase in working hours does not automatically lead to more balanced sharing of domestic and caregiving work between women and men.

The EU has been promoting greater gender equality in the labour market through a mix of legislation, policy guidance and financial support. Based on that, many countries are taking certain measures. For example, the creation of childhood care facilities for children of ages 0 to 3, the creation of employment opportunities through vocational training and internship opportunities, increasing finance to support women’s business and leadership roles.