Roadmap for equality between women and men (2006-2010)

This roadmap supports the objectives of the gender equality agenda. It builds on the Framework Strategy for equality between women and men 2001-2005 and takes stock of this strategy whilst highlighting the improvements required. It must be followed by an implementation report in 2008 and an evaluation with a follow-up proposal in 2010.


Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - A Roadmap for equality between women and men 2006-2010 [COM(2006) 92 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The current roadmap outlines six priority areas. For each area, it identifies key objectives and actions which should facilitate their implementation. Despite the significant progress made through equal treatment legislation and the social dialogue, the European Union (EU) still faces considerable challenges.

Equal economic independence for women and men

The reconciliation of private and professional life

Equal representation in decision-making

The eradication of all forms of gender-based violence

The elimination of gender stereotypes

The promotion of gender equality in third countries

Key actions

The Commission will modernise the existing EU gender equality legislation. A 2006 recast of the legislation was carried out regarding opportunities and treatment. The Commission will ensure that the aspect of gender equality is incorporated as far as possible into all policies, such as the integrated guidelines for growth and jobs and in the new streamlined open method of coordination that covers pensions, social inclusion, health and long-term care.

Raising awareness is the main way of eliminating gender stereotypes. One action the Commission hopes to take is to develop dialogue with EU citizens through the plan D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate and the “Your Europe” portal.

The need for better statistics has arisen in most fields. New indicators and a new composite Gender Equality Index should make it easier to compare data at EU level. Statistics broken down by sex are also important.

More research is required on the gender dimension in health and on health and social sectors professions. Work will continue on the European database on women and men in decision-making. The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development may be used as an instrument to finance specific research.

At international level, the Beijing Platform, which is backed by the Commission, makes provision for better data collection capacity on gender mainstreaming in developing countries.


A new European Institute for Gender Equality, with EUR 50 million of funding, should play a key role in monitoring most of the above actions.

The PROGRESS programme finances action with a transversal dimension, given that gender equality is an aspect that is common to a number of policies. For this reason, the Commission should explore the possibilities of integrating and assessing the impact of the gender perspective in budgeting at EU level.

The Structural Funds are a major source of funding. The Structural Funds will also help achieve the Barcelona targets on childcare and the development of health care facilities.

The European Social Fund (ESF) plays a role in integrating women into the labour market, as well as in the integration of women from third countries into the EU, and in the elimination of stereotypes.


A number of events should offer the opportunity to drive the gender equality agenda forward, in particular the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All in 2007 and the European Year of Combating Exclusion and Poverty in 2010, as well as the 2006 Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial Conference on gender equality.

The Commission must establish an EU network of women in economic and political decision-making positions, and a network of gender equality bodies. It works closely with NGOs and the social partners.


Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Mid-term progress report on the roadmap for equality between women and men (2006-2010) [COM(2008) 760 – Not published in the Official Journal]. This is a mid-term progress report on the results achieved since the adoption of the roadmap for 2006-2010. It was implemented through two annual work programmes and its objectives were strengthened in 2007 with the adoption of the European Pact for Gender Equality. The PROGRESS Programme has financed the transversal implementation of the roadmap in other policies, as well as communication actions.

The principal advances in terms of equality have been made in those domains which have been the focus of quantified objectives, common to Member States. Thus nearly all the domains affected by the roadmap have made progress. However, progress in the Member States is uneven and efforts are required to meet the objectives fixed for 2010. The Report makes a number of proposals in this respect:

The final evaluation of the impact of these actions will be presented in 2010.

Last updated: 18.09.2009