Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in the European Union

Equality between women and men is a common value of the European Union that is enshrined in the Lisbon Treaty. Pursuant to the Treaty on the European Union, promoting gender equality is one of the Union’s tasks (Article 3). In all its activities, it aims to eliminate inequalities and to promote equality between women and men (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Article 8).

The European Union has adopted significant legislation in the field of gender equality. Member states of the European Union are obliged to implement these directives. In addition to the legally binding directives, the Gender Equality Strategy (2020-2025) represents a clear commitment to promote gender equality within the EU and a catalogue of measures to achieve this objective on EU and member state level. Progress reports are presented annually by the European Commission.

The following points represent the European Commission's priorities in the Gender Equality Strategy (2020-2025):

  • Ending gender-based violence
  • Combating gender stereotypes
  • Reducing gender gaps in the labour market
  • Achieving balanced participation of women and men in different sectors of the economy
  • Tackling the gender pay and pension gap
  • Reducing the gap in caring responsibilities
  • Achieving balanced representation of women and men in decision-making positions and politics
  • Gender mainstreaming and an intersectional perspective in EU policies

Documents and Links

Further information