The European Commission has adopted a five-year strategy for promoting equality between women and men in Europe. The strategy aims in particular to make better use of women's potential, thereby contributing to the European Union’s (EU) overall economic and social goals.

It translates the principles set out in the European Commission's Women's Charter into specific measures, ranging from getting more women into company boardrooms to tackling gender-based violence.

Meanwhile, a new Eurobarometer survey shows 87% of Europeans support EU action to tackle domestic violence, with one out of four knowing someone who has been a victim.

The gender equality strategy spells out a series of actions based around five priorities: the economy and labour market; equal pay; equality in senior positions; tackling gender violence; and promoting equality beyond the EU.

They include:

  • Getting more women into the labour market and helping to reach the Europe 2020 target employment rate of 75% overall for women and men
  • Putting forward targeted initiatives to get more women into top jobs in economic decision-making
  • Promoting female entrepreneurship and self employment
  • Instituting an annual European Equal Pay Day to raise awareness of the fact that women continue to earn an average of nearly 18 per cent less than men across the EU
  • Working together with all member states in combating violence against women, especially eradicating female genital mutilation in Europe and beyond.


The Commission will also set up a yearly top-level Gender Equality Dialogue involving the European Parliament, the Council presidencies, European social partners and civil society to assess progress in implementing the strategy.

To read the strategy and background documents, go to: