Women in Labour Market in UE – trends and difficulties

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



5 thoughts on “Women in Labour Market in UE – trends and difficulties

  1. It is very sad that women in the 21st century are still facing so many difficulties in the labor market. Women can do the same and qualified work as men do. Most of the difficulties are related to the old picture of the traditional roles in the family. Governments, especially in the EU, have to implement a social-family system with incentives where it is possible for women reenter the job as soon as possible if they want to. The fathers could also stay at home to raise the children for half a year and a lot more places in nurseries for children in the age of 1-3 are needed. I hope the pre- crisis development will continue in the future.

  2. All in all, it is a good article that displays the situation of the woman in the labour market and also reveals the difficulties women are facing. First it is good that more and more women are entering the labour market, because women have different skills, for example it is said that they have a better social and communication skills than men do. On the other hand it is not that unexpected that more women are entering the labour market due to the willingness of many companies to hire increasingly more women. Due to that the situation of the women in the labour market will probably increase in the long run, so that even wage differences are going to be even out.

  3. I also really don´t like the still existing differences between women and men with respect to their treatment on the labor market.

    A additional shocking fact is, that for woman even getting children is expensive with respect to their career in a real monetary way, so that nearly incentives are created for woman not to get children. In detail this means for example that a good educated woman, normally loose 1/3 of her lifelong income when she gets a child due to different reasons, like inferior employment after maternity leave, because even if jobs are secured after the leave, just “comparable” jobs to the job before the maternity leave are secured. Furthermore, mothers are treated different than “non-mothers”. Woman with children have a lower change to be advanced in comparison to woman without children and they also have a lower change of wage increases. Moreover, the reintegration of woman after they got children is still difficult because of missing crèche facilities and the still predominant image of being an uncaring mother if the mother starts working already when the child is still young. Additionally, the picture of house husbands is still frowned upon.

    These facts just leave woman in the situation that they have to make a decision, between getting children and therefore to succeed and earn in most of the cases at least a little bit less or just getting no children. Many woman in nowadays unfortunately decide to get no children, because they don´t want to lower their career chances or at least get children later, to build up a substantiated career background first. But also many woman resign with respect to a good education before they get children based on the perspective that this education will not be appreciated and compensated as is should be, when they will reintegrate on the job market after their maternity leave.

    I really think that these circumstances are really not desirable, because woman, and especially high educated woman, will be really needed in the future, to cover the need of qualified human resources to counter the demographic change as well as the upcoming skills shortage. Especially Europe, as oldest continent in the world, should realize this high potential of this so far insufficient used promising source of labor force. Furthermore, equality should in nowadays really exist in all areas of life.

  4. The 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.
    So it is very good that the situation for women is getting better. And it should be, because we are living in 21th century. And we need equal rights for women and men.
    Nowadays situation is also better, because not only do women take care of kids, but also men. So now women can work and don’t stay at home with their kids.


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