“Equality between women and men is a fundamental value of the European Union and one that has been enshrined in the Treaty from the very beginning, as the Treaty of Rome included a provision on equal pay. Over the last 60 years, societal changes and persistent policy efforts have established a trend towards gender equality. The EU has always been a major force behind these developments and will continue to play an important role in maintaining momentum and building on past achievements. The 2016-19 Strategic engagement for gender equality aims at pursuing these efforts in key policy areas.
The EU’s continued engagement towards gender equality is taking place in a more global context of uncertainty. On the macroeconomic front, Europe is emerging from a period of recession; though output is surpassing pre-crisis levels and labour market outcomes have improved, employment performance is diverging among Member States. The recent increase in migratory flows has also reinforced the need for effective policies on integration of third-country nationals. On the socio-political front, Europe is facing concerns of intolerance, an increase in social inequalities and poverty. In this context, the EU perseveres in pursuit of its Treaty obligation to promote gender equality and in its medium term strategic engagement and more long-term goals and targets agreed with global partners in the framework of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
This report takes stock of progress in implementing the Strategic engagement for gender equality:
- It provides a wide array of evidence for key trends using the indicators set out in the Strategic engagement;
- To ensure accountability, it reviews the EU’s actions and explains what the Commission and the Member States have achieved in 2016;
- As a potential source of inspiration, it highlights good practices in Member States and innovative projects that the EU has supported.
Attention is focused on short-term developments over the last 12 months, but also on medium term changes since 2010.
This Annual Report also contributes to the monitoring and in-depth review of the Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality of the UN 2030 Agenda and of some other SDGs which include indicators with a gender perspective.”