EurWORK European Observatory of Working Life

European Pact for Gender Equality

Member States are committed to gender equality through the European Pact for Gender Equality, originally adopted in 2006. The pact emphasises the importance of using women’s untapped potential in the labour market. Measures to achieve this include promoting women’s empowerment in economic and political life and taking steps to close gender gaps, combat gender stereotypes and promote better work–life balance for both women and men.

A revision of the pact was prepared under the Hungarian Presidency of the European Council in the first half of 2011, to provide fresh impetus and to support the link between the pact and Europe 2020, and the European Commission’s Strategy for equality between women and men 2010–2015.

In March 2011, a new European Pact for Gender Equality (2011–2020) was adopted, aimed at encouraging the EU and Member States to take measures to:

  • eliminate gender stereotypes, ensure equal pay for equal work and promote the equal participation of women in decision-making;
  • improve the supply of affordable and high-quality childcare services, and promote flexible working arrangements;
  • strengthen the prevention of violence against women and the protection of victims, and focus on the role of men and boys in order to eradicate violence.

It also reaffirms the importance of integrating the gender perspective into all policies, including external actions of the EU.

See also: discrimination; equality between men and women; equal treatment; gender equality; gender mainstreaming; women in the labour market; work–life balance.

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