European Youth Portal
Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Is gender equality a reality?

© - Aaron Amat
Even now, in the 21st century, there are still inequalities between women and men, particularly on the job market. In the EU, women earn on average 17% less than men during their lifetimes.


In recent decades, the EU has made significant progress towards gender equality: more women now go out to work, and they have better access to education and training. The European Commission has helped promote gender equality through the strategy for equality between women & men.


Close the gender pay gap



Equal Pay Day

The first European Equal Pay Day took place in March 2011,with the aim of raising awareness of the pay gap between men and women. The date – 5 March – was the day when the average women would have earned as much as the average man had in 2010 – an extra 64. Equal Pay Day has been celebrated annually for some years in many European Countries.

"European Equal Pay Day reminds us of how much work needs to be done to close the gender pay gap”, said Viviane Reding (Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Justice), pledging to work with EU governments, business and trade unions, “so that one day we will no longer need an Equal Pay Day to mark the differences in earnings between men and women."

Calculate the gender pay gap in your job.


Getting Help

Ever felt that your gender has stopped you from getting a job? Or witnessed someone being unfairly treated because of their gender? Contact your national gender equality body and find out how EU law can support your case.

If you’re thinking of starting up in business, the Equality Pays Off initiative can help you find the skills you need from women on the job market. It also provides ways of exchanging good practice in attracting, retaining and developing top talent and reducing the gender pay gap.