Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015

The Commission presents its new priorities for equality between women and men. This strategy shall contribute to improving the place of women in the labour market, in society and in decision-making positions both in the European Union and the world.


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 21 September 2010 - Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015 [COM(2010) 491 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This Strategy follows on from the roadmap 2006-2010 for equality between women and men. It takes up the priorities defined by the women's charter and forms the Commission’s work programme. It also outlines the key actions planned for the period 2010-2015.

This Strategy also acts a basis for the cooperation between the Commission and the other European institutions, Member States and other stakeholders, as part of the European Pact for equality between women and men.

Economic independence of women

The female employment rate has increased significantly during the past decade. However, this progression needs to continue if the objective of a 75% employment rate, as set by the Europe 2020 strategy, is to be met. It also needs to be extended to those groups of women with the lowest employment rates. Progress is needed in order to improve the quality of jobs and work/life reconciliation policies.

The Commission will undertake initiatives aimed at:

Equal pay

The Commission highlights that the gender pay gap still exists, including for equal work and work of equal value. There are many causes of this pay gap, in particular, segregation in education and in the labour market.

In order to contribute towards eliminating unequal pay, the Commission will:

Equality in decision-making

Women are under-represented in the decision-making process, both in parliaments and national governments and on management boards of large companies, despite making up half the workforce and more than half of new university graduates in the EU.

The Commission will:

Dignity, integrity and an end to gender-based violence

According to estimates, 20 to 25% of women living in the EU have suffered physical violence at least once during their lives and up to half a million women living in Europe have been subjected to genital mutilation.

The Commission will:

Gender equality in external actions

The EU’s external policy will contribute towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. In this respect, the Commission will:

Horizontal issues

The Commission is committed to progressing equal treatment between women and men, paying particular attention to:

Last updated: 28.01.2011