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Document 52022IP0274

European Parliament resolution of 5 July 2022 on women’s poverty in Europe (2021/2170(INI))

OJ C 47, 7.2.2023, p. 2–14 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, GA, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 47/2


Women’s poverty in Europe

European Parliament resolution of 5 July 2022 on women’s poverty in Europe (2021/2170(INI))

(2023/C 47/01)

The European Parliament,

having regard to Articles 2 and 3(3) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

having regard to Articles 8, 9, 151, 153 and 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (the ‘Charter’) and in particular its provisions on social rights and equality between men and women,

having regard to the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women,

having regard to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’, and in particular Goal 1, which seeks to end poverty, Goal 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and improve living conditions for women, and Goal 8, which seeks to achieve sustainable economic growth,

having regard to the EU’s growth strategy ‘Europe 2020’, in particular its objective of reducing the number of people in the EU living below national poverty lines by 25 % by 2020, thereby lifting over 20 million people out of poverty, and the need to fully deploy Member States’ social security and pensions systems in order to ensure adequate income support,

having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention),

having regard to International Labour Organization Convention No 190 on eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work,

having regard to the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan,

having regard to Council Recommendation (EU) 2021/1004 of 14 June 2021 establishing a European Child Guarantee (1),

having regard to Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (2),

having regard to Directive (EU) 2019/1158 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on work-life balance for parents and carers (3) (the Work-Life Balance Directive),

having regard to the Commission communication of 5 March 2020 entitled ‘A Union of Equality: Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025’ (COM(2020)0152),

having regard to its resolution of 13 October 2005 on women and poverty in the European Union (4),

having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2011 on the face of female poverty in the European Union (5),

having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2011 on women entrepreneurship in small and medium-sized enterprises (6),

having regard to its resolution of 26 May 2016 entitled ‘Poverty: a gender perspective’ (7),

having regard to its resolution of 4 April 2017 on women and their roles in rural areas (8),

having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2017 on the need for an EU strategy to end and prevent the gender pension gap (9),

having regard to its resolution of 3 October 2017 on women’s economic empowerment in the private and public sectors in the EU (10),

having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2018 on care services in the EU for improved gender equality (11),

having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2019 on gender equality and taxation policies in the EU (12),

having regard to its resolution of 30 January 2020 on the gender pay gap (13),

having regard to its resolution of 21 January 2021 on the gender perspective in the COVID-19 crisis and post-crisis period (14),

having regard to the resolution of 7 July 2021 entitled ‘An old continent growing older — possibilities and challenges related to ageing policy post-2020’ (15),

having regard to its resolution of 10 February 2021 on reducing inequalities with a special focus on in-work poverty (16),

having regard to the Council conclusions of 10 December 2019 entitled ‘Gender-Equal Economies in the EU: The Way Forward’,

having regard to the report of 5 March 2020 by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) entitled ‘Beijing + 25: the fifth review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU Member States’,

having regard to the report of 27 May 2020 by the International Labour Organization entitled ‘COVID-19 and the world of work. Fourth edition’,

having regard to the policy brief of 15 July 2021 by Eurofound and the EIGE entitled ‘Upward convergence in gender equality: How close is the Union of equality?’,

having regard to the study of December 2017 by Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies entitled ‘Gender perspective on access to energy in the EU’,

having regard to the EIGE’s 2019 and 2020 Gender Equality Indexes,

having regard to the position paper of June 2021 by Make Mothers Matter entitled ‘Mothers’ Poverty in the EU’,

having regard to the assessment of the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2021 and Proposal for a Joint Employment Report 2021 of February 2021 by the European Anti-Poverty Network entitled ‘Working towards a Socially Inclusive and Poverty-proof Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic’,

having regard to the study of 19 May 2021 by Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies entitled ‘COVID-19 and its economic impact on women and women’s poverty: Insight from 5 European Countries’,

having regard to the study of 14 June 2021 by Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the Directorate-General for Internal Policies entitled ‘Gender equality: Economic value of care from the perspective of the applicable EU funds’,

having regard to its resolution of 14 April 2016 on meeting the anti-poverty targets in the light of increasing household costs (17) and the opinion of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality thereon,

having regard to the work of the EU Platform on Combatting Homelessness, launched in June 2021,

having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A9-0194/2022),


whereas gender equality is a core value of the Union enshrined in Article 2 TEU; whereas Article 8 TFEU lays down the principle of gender mainstreaming;


whereas the eradication of poverty is one of the priorities of the EU, enshrined in Article 3 TEU and in Article 34 of the Charter, and is a headline target in the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) action plan, reflecting the EU’s commitment to combat poverty in its policies;


whereas in the EU, the number of women in poverty is still higher than the number of men in poverty (18); whereas despite a reduction in poverty in the EU among both women and men, women continue to be disproportionally more affected by poverty and the risk of social exclusion than men, in particular women who experience intersectional forms of discrimination; whereas in 2020, the risk of poverty and social exclusion (AROPE) in the EU was higher for women (22,9 %) than men (20,9 %), though in both cases it has decreased since 2015 (24,9 % and 23,1 % respectively); whereas since 2017, the gender-poverty gap has increased in 21 Member States (19); whereas according to the data, poverty rates among women vary greatly between Member States; whereas owing to the strong correlation between female poverty and child poverty, 1 in 4 children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion;


whereas according to estimates for 2019 in the EU-27, women are particularly affected by the risk of poverty (AROPE), with the poverty rate standing at 17,1 % after social transfers; whereas since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, women have been disproportionately affected in the socioeconomic sphere, including, in some cases, by loss of employment; whereas the employment rate of women has even fallen more sharply than it did during the 2008 recession; whereas this is, among other things, due to the increase of unpaid care, domestic and educational work carried out mainly by women, and has also resulted in an increase in women’s poverty; whereas even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of people in temporary and part-time posts were women, especially in the service sector, and whereas the pandemic has reinforced this trend; whereas the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are not yet fully comprehended and whereas the socioeconomic impact will continue to be experienced in the coming years; whereas it is therefore essential to examine female poverty in context of the handling and aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis; whereas measures taken to exit the financial crisis of 2008 have not been sufficient to reduce women’s poverty; whereas reductions in funding for social public services and lower wages disproportionality affect women, owing to their greater reliance on social public services and allowances;


whereas gender mainstreaming means taking into account the gender differences within the whole policy cycle and adding an intersectional approach taking into account diversity among women and men when designing, implementing and evaluating policies, programmes and projects in order to enhance gender equality; whereas until now EU policies have not deployed real mainstreamed policies or included an intersectional approach;


whereas Article 3(3) TEU commits the Union to combating ‘social exclusion and discrimination’ and promoting ‘social justice and protection [and] equality between women and men’ in line with the social market economy concept; whereas the European Pillar of Social Rights action plan has the specific aim of reducing the number of people at risk of poverty by at least 15 million by 2030, including 5 million children; whereas the social, green and gender equality agendas are interlinked and share the goals of ensuring sustainable growth and a fair distribution of resources; whereas the discussions on the review of the current EU model of socioeconomic governance should take into consideration the EU’s commitment to reduce inequalities and eradicate poverty, in particular women’s poverty;


whereas the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Olivier De Schutter, has pointed out that European Union should develop an EU-wide anti-poverty strategy that ensures a structural, broad approach to eradicating female poverty; whereas a fairer social contract is needed for the post-pandemic European Union, including economic policies aimed at decreasing economic inequalities;


whereas parental poverty often leads to child poverty; whereas investing in policies to support women also improves the living conditions of their families, and in particular of their children; whereas the EU and the Member States must respect, protect and fulfil the rights of children in line with the TEU; whereas the rights of children are jeopardised in situations of poverty; whereas eradicating child poverty is included in Principle 11 of the EPSR;


whereas single-parent families are at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion and bear a higher probability of transmission of poverty over several generations; whereas 85 % of single-parent families are headed by women; whereas in 2020, 42,1 % of the EU population living in single-adult households with dependent children were at risk of poverty or social exclusion;


whereas women's poverty is the result of a lifetime of discrimination; whereas gender stereotypes still influence the division of labour at home, in education, in the workplace and in society and access to power and decision-making; whereas unpaid care and domestic work, which are mostly carried out by women, imposes a disproportionate burden on women; whereas globally, women make up over 70 % of workers in the health and care sector; whereas these kinds of jobs have systematically been undervalued because they have been, and still are, performed for free by women within households; whereas women have lower pay than men; whereas women have more part-time contracts due to time poverty; whereas women are suffering in-work poverty that leads to higher risks of poverty and social exclusion due to low labour intensity;


whereas due consideration should be given to the recommendations of the EPSR on gender equality, equal opportunities and active support to employment;


whereas women’s poverty is multidimensional and for this reason we need to combat all causes and consequences of all facets of women’s poverty, including material deprivation, but also the lack of access to different resources and services, which limits their ability to fully enjoy their citizenship; whereas female poverty is directly influenced by the lack of fair valuation of work mainly carried out by women, career breaks due to maternity leave or care responsibilities, unequal sharing of unpaid caring responsibilities and domestic work and segregation in education and subsequently in the labour market; whereas women’s poverty results in their exclusion from certain social and political aspects of life; whereas at the same time, the lack of adequate access to resources and services increases women’s risk of falling into or remaining in poverty, which shows the mutual interdependence between poverty and social and political exclusion;


whereas the impact of poverty on women and men differs and whereas indicators to better understand the feminisation of poverty such as age, life expectancy, income inequality, the gender pay gap, type of household and social transfers therefore also need to be considered; whereas synergies between various actions carried out and political measures supporting gender equality in employment, education, taxation policies and housing can help to combat deep-rooted causes of poverty and social exclusion more effectively;


whereas there is an increased risk of poverty and social exclusion among some groups of women such as single mothers, women above the age of 65, women with disabilities, women with low levels of education and women from migrant backgrounds;


whereas women outnumber men at older ages within the EU-27 population; whereas in 2019, there were more than twice as many very old women (aged 85 years or more) as very old men; whereas ageing developments will have profound implications for governments, business and civil society, impacting especially health and social care systems, labour markets, public finances and pension entitlements;


whereas figures show that on average in the EU 29,5 % of women with disabilities are at risk of falling victim to poverty and social exclusion, compared with 27,5 % of their male counterparts;


whereas women from more vulnerable groups, such as young women, women with disabilities, women with a migrant background, Roma women, women from religious or ethnic minorities, as well as LBTQI+ women, face additional and intersecting forms of discrimination when accessing education, healthcare, employment and social services, and are therefore exposed to a higher risk of poverty;


whereas Roma people face discrimination in accessing employment initiatives such as the Youth Guarantee; whereas public employment services often lack the capacity to reach them or apply indirect discrimination practices;


whereas, in relation to poverty data, the statistical household unit defines poverty within households, and does not consider the gender inequalities in the internal distribution of resources, making it difficult to obtain reliable gender-disaggregated data;


whereas women's poverty increases the risk of homelessness, lack of access to adequate housing and energy poverty; whereas policy measures tailored specifically to single parents are needed;


whereas gender equality in the labour market is an important instrument for eliminating poverty among women that benefits not only women but the economy as a whole, with a positive impact on GDP, employment levels and productivity; whereas improving gender equality would lead to an increase in EU GDP per capita of between 6,1 and 9,6 % and an additional 10,5 million jobs, which would benefit both women and men, by 2050;


whereas although work in highly female-dominated sectors is essential and of high socioeconomic value, it is undervalued and lower paid than work in male-dominated sectors; whereas there is an urgent need to reassess the adequacy of wages in female-dominated sectors related to their social and economic value and to move forward on minimum wages, minimum income and pay transparency in EU regulations;


whereas the right to work is an essential precondition if women are to enjoy economic independence, professional fulfilment and effective equal rights;


whereas the average gender employment gap stands at 11,5 %, with women disproportionally highly represented in low-paid, precarious job sectors; whereas women are more represented in flexible work forms, atypical and flexible contracts (part-time work, temporary work, etc.); whereas women face pregnancy and maternity discrimination; whereas the gender pay gap stood at 14,1 % at EU level in 2019, though there were significant differences between Member States (20); whereas the gender gap in earnings has increased in 17 Member States since 2010, while the gender gap in income has gone up in 19 Member States, leading to an overall increase in gender inequality in earnings and income in the EU (21); whereas about 10 % of the working population in the EU is at risk of poverty, and it is mainly women who are paid minimum wage or less than a living wage, owing, among other things, to the greater involvement of women in the informal economy; whereas combating undeclared work and setting adequate and fair levels of minimum wages that provide for a decent standard of living can help to reduce wage inequality, the gender pay gap and female poverty;


whereas the European Social Charter recognises the right of all workers, and therefore also female workers, to fair remuneration that is sufficient for a decent standard of living for themselves and their families, and the right to equal pay for work of equal value; whereas, furthermore, it establishes the right to protection against poverty and social exclusion, and it is contributing to reducing the existing pay gap between men and women;


whereas the rate of trans people in paid employment is only 51 %, compared with 69,3 % of the general population; whereas unemployment is a particular issue for trans women, who are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as the general population average (22);


whereas only 20,7 % of women with disabilities and 28,6 % of men with disabilities are in full-time employment; whereas in some Member States, persons with disabilities often lose their disability entitlements upon taking up employment, which increases their risk of in-work poverty;


whereas the gender pension gap averaged 29,4 % in 2019 (23) as a result of the imbalances created by persistent lifelong inequalities; whereas this pension gap means that women are more likely to fall below the poverty line as they get older, also bearing in mind that female life expectancy is longer than male life expectancy, deepening the consequences of poverty and social exclusion; whereas greater labour inclusion throughout a person’s lifetime will help to close the gender pension gap;


whereas the technological and digital revolution we are witnessing is increasing digital progress and new business opportunities and whereas this technological and digital revolution is changing economic patterns, social systems and the labour market; whereas everyone in our society, especially women, must have the chance to participate in this prosperity;


whereas policies targeted at increasing the participation of women in the fields related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and artificial intelligence, and the adoption of a multi-level approach to address the gender gap at all levels of education and employment in the digital sector need to be further promoted;


whereas girls outperform boys in school but often encounter greater difficulties or are prevented from translating this educational success into professional accomplishment by family and other pressures;


whereas women who live in rural areas are particularly affected by poverty; whereas many women who live in rural areas are not even registered on the labour market or as unemployed; whereas the rate of unemployment among women in rural areas is extremely high, and those who are employed have very low incomes; whereas women in rural areas have limited access to education;


whereas a common EU approach to the care sector, in addition to Member State policies, would create significant added value; whereas women take on unpaid care work more often than men, and caring for children or dependants is therefore one of the most common reasons for women to reduce their working hours or withdraw from the labour market; whereas women more regularly put their careers on hold or take on short-term, part-time, precarious or even informal employment that can be adapted to a caregiving schedule, which affects their earnings and their contributions to their pension funds and thus has an impact on their economic independence in old age; whereas universal access to high-quality healthcare and social services and facilities at affordable prices, such as early childhood care and education or care for other dependants, is not only key for avoiding increasing poverty, especially for women, but is also critical for an economy that serves the public interest; whereas investment in these services therefore has a positive impact on women’s economic independence and their ability to participate in the labour market; whereas social protection measures are absolutely key for tackling female poverty, not only economically but also in its multidimensionality;


whereas poverty exacerbates the impacts of gender-based violence on women as increased economic difficulties make it hard for women in abusive relationships to leave their partner; whereas gender-based violence is a structural problem that can be found across all socioeconomic groups and is independent of origin or belief; whereas poverty puts women at greater risk of trafficking and sexual exploitation as it makes them and their families economically dependent on their abusers; whereas gender-based violence also contributes to poverty and social exclusion as violence has consequences for health and can lead to the loss of one’s job and homelessness;


whereas harassment at the workplace, including sexual and psychological harassment, of which women are usually the victims, has a deterrent effect on women, including increased absenteeism, reduced productivity and consequently loss of income and contributes to driving them out of the labour market, which has a negative impact on an individual’s career and economic independence; whereas reporting harassment at the workplace can lead to dismissal or isolation of the victim;


whereas it is estimated that currently 1 in 10 girls cannot afford sanitary products; whereas in its resolution of 15 January 2019 on gender equality and taxation policies in the EU, Parliament called on all Member States to eliminate the so-called care and tampon tax by making use of the flexibility introduced in the VAT Directive and by applying tax exemptions or 0 % VAT rates to these essential basic goods;


whereas Russia’s war against Ukraine is resulting in a further increase in poverty, especially among women, both because it forces Ukrainian women and children to flee to neighbouring countries and due to the rising prices of basic services and goods that all Europeans are experiencing, but which particularly affect those who already have fewer resources;


Points out that, according to Eurostat, there are currently 64,6 million women and 57,6 million men living in poverty in the Member States, which shows that the impact of poverty on women and men is different; calls on the Commission to develop an ambitious 2030 European anti-poverty strategy, with concrete targets for reducing poverty and a focus on ending women’s poverty and breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty risks;


Underlines that women’s poverty also needs to be analysed from an intersectional approach, which entails a gender-sensitive analysis that takes into account intersecting forms of discrimination on the grounds of characteristics such as socioeconomic background, migrant and ethnic origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; calls for the EIGE’s Gender Equality Index to be incorporated into the social scoreboard; calls on the EIGE to provide data disaggregated intersectionally and by gender, and calls on the Member States to use this data in order to better address country-specific challenges and develop national recovery plans, as well as to improve synergies among different packages, funds and policies;


Underlines the importance of policies that take into account the demographic challenge and promote equal opportunities for all, particularly those that are most hit by the crisis, such as vulnerable groups, families in all their diversity, the young generation and the elderly, and of ensuring that all business opportunities offered by the current technological and digital revolution should focus on women;


Calls on the Member States to do similar and regular work on collecting and analysing disaggregated data when they design or evaluate their policies and practices in order to gather information and figures on the situation of women in specific precarious conditions, such as women suffering from energy precariousness, the digital divide, occupational diseases, undernutrition and malnutrition;


Urges the Commission and the Member States to effectively address the inequalities women face, tackling their main components, and therefore barriers in the labour market, as well as access to affordable quality services such as childcare and long-term care services and to promote access to public pension schemes for self-employed people, inactive persons, the unemployed (either short or long term), or those in ‘atypical’ employment;


Notes that poverty continues to be measured based on accumulated household income, which assumes that all members of the household earn the same and distribute resources equally; calls for individualised rights and calculations based on individual income in order to combat the true extent of women’s poverty;


Calls for multidimensionality in measuring poverty, including time poverty; calls on Eurostat to coordinate with Member States the gender-sensitive design of the European Time Use Survey and how regular it should be carried out;


Welcomes the Commission’s announcement of a ‘European care strategy’, but calls on it to go beyond measures in the care sector and ensure a transition towards a caring economy that takes a holistic, gender-responsive and lifelong approach to care, including measures to promote ecological sustainability, fair working conditions and adequate wages in order to maintain the attractiveness of work in the care sector, end discrimination, combat poverty, violence and abuse, set minimum standards and adequate quality guidelines for care throughout a person’s lifetime and provide support for formal and informal carers, unpaid carers and the people they care for; calls on the Member States to create incentives for employers to promote a better work-life balance;


Notes that all Member States have increased care packages during the pandemic and introduced special provisions for single-parent households; urges the Member States to extend such provisions during the recovery period;


Is convinced that the axiom that ‘work is the best cure for poverty’ no longer applies today in the face of low-wage sectors, atypical and precarious working conditions and the dismantling of social security systems and that effective collective agreements and minimum wage systems are needed to achieve a poverty-free society;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to guarantee sufficient financial protection, not only for people with lifelong employment, but also for those who provide unpaid care work for dependants and household and educational care services, those who are in precarious employment and those who experience long periods of unemployment;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote policies that aim to eliminate precarious work and involuntary part-time work in order to improve the situation for women in the labour market;


Stresses the pivotal role of women working in the social, care, cleaning, education, health and retail sectors that keep our societies functioning, as shown by the COVID-19 crisis; calls for typically female-dominated work to be reassessed and revaluated and for cross-sector gender-neutral job evaluation tools to be developed and applied in order to better assess and more fairly remunerate female-dominated work and ensure equal pay for equal work and work of equal value, while at the same time strengthening women’s entrepreneurship in small and medium-sized enterprises;


Notes that the vast majority of retail workers and cleaners are women and are often only paid the minimum wage, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has put them at even greater risk of poverty; stresses the urgent need to improve wages and combat precarious employment; urges the Member States to raise the status of health professionals by means of decent wages and working conditions and, in particular, by concluding proper employment contracts;


Highlights that in order to tackle the multidimensionality of women’s poverty, it is necessary to overcome the segregation of unpaid domestic work and care responsibilities mainly performed by women and strengthen the fight against stereotypes in order to reinforce care service work-life balance measures and family-friendly working arrangements, such as adaptable working hours and the possibility of teleworking to promote the ‘equal earner-equal carer’ model (time use policy) (24),so as to allow women and men to better reconcile their professional life with their private life; urges the Member States to fully transpose and implement the Work-Life Balance Directive so as to ensure a fair division of work and family life, and invites them to go beyond the directive’s minimum standards; stresses that in-work poverty needs to be addressed at its root causes, for example by promoting education and training, establishing minimum wages and ensuring social protection; calls on the Commission to urge the Member States to invest in qualitative education and training and support them in doing so, to share good practices and to pay specific attention to lifelong learning;


Stresses that women are disproportionately, and often involuntarily, concentrated in precarious work, including high levels of part-time work and low-paid, fixed-term and zero-hour contracts; urges the Member States to implement the International Labour Organization recommendations intended to reduce the scale of precarious work, such as restricting the circumstances in which precarious contracts can be used and limiting the length of time workers can be employed on such contracts;


Calls on the Member States to implement active and effective policies to prevent and combat harassment in the workplace, including sexual and psychological harassment; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure proper and adequate funding mechanisms for programmes and actions to combat harassment in the workplace, including mechanisms to support women in reporting cases of harassment; calls on the Member States and the EU to ratify International Labour Organization Convention No 190 on eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work;


Stresses the importance of increasing awareness about the consequences of women’s choices in the labour market and the importance of their economic independence to protect them from poverty and social exclusion;


Expresses its concern that women with children are discriminated against in the workplace because they are mothers and not because their job performance is inferior to that of their peers; urges the Member States to actively promote a positive image of mothers as employees;


Underlines the crucial role of high-quality public services in combating women’s poverty, in particular services for early childhood education and care, or care for other dependants such as elderly people; calls on the Member States to establish appropriate mechanisms to recognise this life achievement;


Stresses that climate change also has a big impact on female poverty as women are more dependent on natural resources and, since they constitute the majority of poor people in the EU, have fewer resources to protect themselves against the negative effects of climate change; regrets that a gender perspective has not been consistently introduced in the EU’s climate policies; calls on the Commission to mainstream gender equality into the EU’s climate change policies and legislation; is of the opinion that the Fit for 55 package and the social climate fund should be designed and implemented with a clear gender dimension and benefit women as equally as men;


Calls for the EU and the Member States to protect women living in energy poverty by providing a timely and coordinated response to address the long-term impact of the energy crisis; highlights that access to affordable utilities must be guaranteed to low-income households, and in particular older women and single mothers;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to mainstream gender equality into all policies, programmes and actions and establish better work-life balance policies and adequate measures to guarantee women’s participation in the labour market, such as better maternity leave, significantly longer paternity leave periods, paid and non-transferable parental leave, flexible working hours, on-site childcare facilities, care services and remote working policies; stresses the importance of gender mainstreaming and tailoring the economic policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic to the specific needs of women and the structure of their economic activities;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to mainstream gender equality into all transport-related legislation, policies, programmes and actions and to include a gender perspective in the design of mobility, affordable housing and urban planning;


Highlights that homelessness among women should not be underestimated and misperceived as a minor social problem in the EU; points at the lack of comprehensive disaggregated data on the nature and extent of women’s homelessness, which makes this problem less visible; urges the EU and its Member States to integrate a gender perspective into policies and practices that address homelessness and the lack of access to affordable and adequate housing and energy, and to develop specific strategies aimed at eradicating these problems by 2030, while ensuring that services work appropriately and effectively to meet the needs of homeless women; stresses the importance of recognising gender-based violence as one of the root causes aggravating the risk of homelessness among women, and stresses the need to look at how women’s needs intersect with broader socioeconomic and structural barriers; calls on all actors to integrate a gender perspective into the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness; is convinced that the ‘housing first’ principle can play an important role in fighting homelessness and calls for these projects to be rolled out in all Member States;


Notes that the worsening social and economic situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has increased all forms of abuse and violence towards women, as well as prostitution, in violation of their human rights; underlines the need to increase public, financial and human resources in order to support groups at risk of poverty and tackle situations posing a risk to children and young people, the elderly, people with disabilities and the homeless;


Notes that women’s economic independence plays a crucial role in their ability to escape situations of gender-based violence; calls, therefore, for the provision of support and protection measures to support women in these situations, the adoption of a comprehensive directive on preventing and combating all forms of gender-based violence, the addition of gender-based violence in the list of EU crimes, the EU ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the ratification thereof by Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia; stresses that a life free from violence is fundamental if women are to participate in the labour market, reach their full potential and be financially independent; condemns deliberate disinformation about tools and initiatives to combat gender-based violence in the EU; expresses concern that this disinformation is gaining a foothold in Europe and thus making it even more difficult to protect women from violence;


Calls on the Member States to combat harmful practices such as female genital mutilation, early and forced marriage and so-called ‘honour-related violence’, which specifically injures and limits young women and girls;


Considers prostitution to be a serious form of violence and exploitation affecting mostly women and children; calls on the Member States to take specific action to combat the economic, social and cultural causes of prostitution so that women in a situation of poverty and social exclusion do not fall victim to such exploitation; calls on the Member States to take specific action to help prostitutes with their social and professional reintegration;


Calls on the Commission to propose proactive measures through the European social funds and the European agricultural fund for rural development to promote women’s employment, the facilitation of access to social services and socioeconomic development in rural areas; encourages the Member States, in cooperation with regional and local authorities, to reduce the risk of poverty among women in rural areas by empowering them and improving their quality of life through the provision of quality educational programmes and quality employment conditions, including teleworking and a decent income; calls for positive action encouraging women farmers in particular to stay in rural areas, including the promotion of community centres that can provide technical advice and assistance to keep farms operating and help them to survive and encourage young people to invest in agriculture and livestock to ensure its long-term survival;


Stresses the crucial role of all EU social funds and programmes, particularly the European Social Fund Plus, the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Displaced Workers, the Just Transition Fund, the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund; highlights that through the ESF+, the Member States and the Commission should aim to mitigate the socioeconomic impacts of the crisis, particularly on women, to increase the numbers of women in employment and help them to reconcile their work and personal lives, to combat poverty and its gender dimension, the feminisation of poverty and gender discrimination in the labour market and in education and training, to support the most vulnerable and to combat child poverty; calls on the Member States to make full use of funds with a gender perspective;


Emphasises that national efforts to ensure Roma inclusion should be accelerated in all Member States; calls on the Commission to promote inclusion and thereby ensure the participation of Roma girls and women at all levels, including those working at local, regional and EU level; points out that this should take into account equality between men and women and focus on the elevation of Member States’ good practices to Union level;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to supplement the EU’s financial aid with study programmes and projects that give talented Roma girls and women the opportunity to use continuing education to free themselves from intergenerational poverty, promoting their social integration and developing their knowledge, with a view to improving the situation of the Roma community; calls on the Member States to indicate the level of support they would need in order to implement the recommended measures to integrate the Roma population;


Underlines that an increase in women’s poverty has a great impact on wider society; expresses concern about the impact this will have in terms of child poverty; welcomes, in this regard, the adoption of Council Recommendation (EU) 2021/1004 of 14 June 2021 establishing a European Child Guarantee;


Highlights the major contribution of women in the fields of employment, culture, education, science, and research; recognises the profound deterioration in the living conditions of women employed in arts and culture, and in micro and small agricultural and rural businesses resulting from the suspension of economic and cultural activities during the pandemic period;


Calls for a gender-sensitive approach to the digital transition; urges the Commission to use existing programmes and funding and make available additional funding where needed to fight against women’s digital poverty in order to equip women with the necessary skills to operate safely in the digital environment, and to improve their digital literacy;


Calls on the Commission and the Member States to investigate barriers to female entrepreneurship and in particular to conduct a comprehensive analysis of women’s access to finance, helping to end female poverty in the European Union by empowering women to become entrepreneurs and founders of small and medium-sized enterprises contributing to the twin transition; notes that women’s entrepreneurship creates jobs, strengthens the single market and reduces unemployment; notes that a reduced bureaucratic burden for entrepreneurs removes barriers to ensure more women can start businesses; emphasises the importance of knowledge about entrepreneurship and practical experience in schools; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote women’s empowerment through education, vocational training and lifelong learning; calls, in particular, for greater promotion of STEM subjects and digital, artificial intelligence and financial literacy, in order to combat prevailing stereotypes and ensure that more women enter these sectors and contribute to their development;


Calls on the Member States to ensure that all new fiscal policy, including taxation which has a clear gender dimension, tackles and eliminates socioeconomic and gender inequalities in all their dimensions (25); calls on the Member States to avoid gender discrimination in their tax policies and eliminate VAT on women’s sanitary goods, which disproportionally jeopardises the dignity of lower-income women, and thereby ensure that all women have access to these essential products;


Calls on the Member States to take the gender dimension into account when reforming pension systems and adapting the retirement age and to consider the differences between the work patterns of women and men, including all unpaid employment practices, taking into account the higher risk of discrimination of women in the labour market, in particular older women; urges the Member States to take specific measures to prevent and combat the risk of poverty for older and retired women resulting from population ageing and the proportion of older women in disadvantaged or vulnerable positions; calls on the Member States to include compensation for unpaid care work in their pension systems, for example through care credits or other measures added to the carer’s pension, irrespective of whether the care is provided to underage children, elderly persons or sick or disabled persons, while at the same time encouraging men to become carers;


Calls on the Commission to refrain from promoting any policy recommendation that would lead to an increase in precarious working relations, the deregulation of working hours, a reduction in salaries, an attack on collective bargaining or the privatisation of public services and social security;


Welcomes the ongoing negotiations for the adoption of a directive on adequate minimum wages in the European Union; calls for the EU institutions to adopt an EU framework favouring the establishment or adaptation of a minimum wage per country based inter alia on a national basket of goods and services at real prices, including, among other things, adequate housing, healthy and balanced food, clothing, sustainable transport and energy, health and care and resources enabling people to meaningfully participate in society, culture and education, which would ensure a decent standard of living that would partially help to reduce in-work poverty, in particular for women; calls for fair and adequate minimum wages in the Member States as a necessary safeguard to ensure fairer wage distribution and to guarantee a wage floor protecting women and men in the labour market; is of the opinion that the creation of a minimum wage framework must be achieved and preserved through clear rules, transparent procedures and effective practices, using criteria and guiding indicators to assess adequacy and with the contribution of consultative bodies, among others, and the involvement of social partners;


Calls on the Member States to be ambitious in their implementation of the European Child Guarantee and the Pay Transparency Directive, as well as the future Directive on Minimum Wages and Recommendation on Minimum Income;


Regrets that overall, gender mainstreaming has not yet been applied across the EU budget, as pointed out by the European Court of Auditors, and calls for this situation to be reversed as a matter of urgency; underlines that gender mainstreaming has to be applied at all levels of the policy cycle and must be based on reliable data; highlights the importance of the implementation of gender-responsive budgeting, including in all programmes in the 2022 budget, in order to achieve gender equality and eliminate women’s poverty; calls on the Commission, in this context, to accelerate the introduction of an effective, transparent and comprehensive methodology and to closely cooperate with Parliament in measuring relevant gender expenditure, as provided for in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 13 April 2016 on Better Law-Making (26), in order to be able to show tangible results for the 2022 budget and with a view to extending the methodology to all multiannual financial framework programmes;


Points out that the EU’s fiscal capacity requires a potential revision of the current economic and social governance to reduce inequalities and female poverty and achieve gender equality; calls for economic and social governance to be consistent with the achievement of gender equality objectives and for the ending of female poverty;


Calls on the Council to establish a dedicated configuration on gender equality in order to deliver common and concrete measures to address the challenges in the field of women’s rights and gender equality and ensure that gender equality issues are discussed at the highest political level;


Calls on the Commission and Member States to analyse the unequal gender impact of inflation and energy price hikes triggered in the context of Russia’s war against Ukraine and to take this into account when implementing measures to alleviate its impact on the poorest;


Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)  OJ L 223, 22.6.2021, p. 14.

(2)  OJ L 204, 26.7.2006, p. 23.

(3)  OJ L 188, 12.7.2019, p. 79.

(4)  OJ C 233 E, 28.9.2006, p. 130.

(5)  OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 77.

(6)  OJ C 51 E, 22.2.2013, p. 56.

(7)  OJ C 76, 28.2.2018, p. 93.

(8)  OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 14.

(9)  OJ C 331, 18.9.2018, p. 60.

(10)  OJ C 346, 27.9.2018, p. 6.

(11)  OJ C 363, 28.10.2020, p. 80.

(12)  OJ C 411, 27.11.2020, p. 38.

(13)  OJ C 331, 17.8.2021, p. 5.

(14)  OJ C 456, 10.11.2021, p. 191.

(15)  OJ C 99, 1.3.2022, p. 122.

(16)  OJ C 465, 17.11.2021, p. 62.

(17)  OJ C 58, 15.2.2018, p. 192.

(18)  Eurostat webpage entitled ‘Living conditions in Europe — poverty and social exclusion’, accessed on 30 May 2022. Available at:

(19)  European Institute for Gender Equality, ‘Gender Equality Index 2020: Digitalisation and the future of work’, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020.

(20)  Eurostat webpage entitled ‘Gender pay gap statistics’, accessed on 30 May 2022. Available at:

(21)  ‘Gender pay gap statistics’.


(23)  Eurostat article of 3 February 2021 entitled ‘Closing the gender pension gap?’.

(24)  EIGE Gender Statistics Database, accessed on 30 May 2022. Available at:

(25)  Report by Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of April 2017 entitled ‘Gender equality and taxation in the European Union’.

(26)  OJ L 123, 12.5.2016, p. 1.