Women are more often unempoyed and they likely withdraw from professional life. Generally women’s situation in labour market is worse than men’s situation. But participation of women in the Labour Market in the European Union has been growing steadily in recent years, and their increasing participation is seen as a key factor in achieving the goals of the European Employment Strategy and the Europe 2020 Strategy. This strategy is focused on a range of issues, including the economic independence of women, equal pay, equality in decision-making, and an end to gender-based violetce.
Autors of raport about gender equality in European Union emphasize that participation of women has increased by a quarter since 1995. In addition, the female employment rate increased by 7.1% to 59.1% in the last decade. In the Lisbon Strategy the aim was 60% in 2010. But this is only average for the whole Europe and in various countries the female employment rate has different level – in Poland does not exeed 50%, in Greece 40% and only in the Nordic countries this level is much higher than 60%.
The positive growth trend, was interrupted by the economic crisis, which caused major changes in the labor market. Women unemployment rose more quickly than men. Moreover women are concentrated in low-graded, service, public sector and part-time jobs where , risk of reductions is high.
Women’s difficulties in the labour market:
– after the crisis men’s employment return quicker to the previous level than women’s employment
– the risk of not finding re-employment is higher among women
– labour market policy focuses on issues of unemployment, not noticing the growing number of economically inactive women. Women represent more than two-thirds of the 63 million economically inactive people between 25 and 64 years old in the EU
– women more often than men include disadvantageous employment contract on precarious condition or take part-time work
– the average difference in pay between men and women in the EU is 17.6%. Lower income negatively affect the entire period of employment, including social security and pensions
– traditional beliefs about women and their role in family and negative stereotypes associated with their professional work