The European Union stands by women in Europe and around the globe today, as it did at the time of its foundation.
Sixty years ago, equality between women and men was embedded in the Rome Treaty as one of the European Union’s fundamental values. At that time, Europe’s commitment to the principle of equal pay for equal work was unique in the world. Since then, the EU has continued to lead and has made visible progress on all fronts. We work tirelessly to defend women’s rights and empower them in the fight against discrimination and gender-based violence.
In 2017, there are more women in work, more women graduating from universities, and more women active in politics or in top positions at European companies than ever before. Within the Commission, women represent 55% of the total workforce. And yet, too many women, especially single mothers, are still struggling to reach economic independence in the European Union. The rate of women’s employment in the European Union reached an all-time high of 65.5% in 2016 and yet there is still a big difference with the 77% rate of men.
Much more must be done both inside and outside of Europe. Women are often among the most vulnerable, in conflicts, in situations of migration and displacement, and where poverty and climate change hit the hardest. In addition, there is an exponential growth in the numbers of female victims of trafficking arriving in the EU in the current migration context.