Approaches to gender equality in the labour market in EU member states - pes questionnaires

AuthorSansonetti, Silvia; Davern, Eamonn
Study Report on PES approaches to the promotion of gender equality
3.1 Scope for PES action across EU Member States by issue
In this section, we summarise the information provided by national PES authorities on
policies and strategies they implement or have recently implemented to counter gender
inequalities in their respective labour markets37. This investigation is prompted by the
presentation of the potential major gender equality challenges of national labour markets,
and explores the strategies and policies enacted by PES.
The questionnaire proposed to national PES authorities is structured according to the main
theoretical framework adopted by the EU institutions in their official documents and reports
on gender equality. The most recent one is the Gender Equality Strat egy 2020-2025.
The strat egy is in line with the previous European Pact for Gender Equality 2012-2020,
adopted by the Council of the European Union in 2011, an d providing indications to EU
Member States and all EU institutions for their own competencies on how EU gender
equality policy could be pursued in the framework the Europe 2020 strategy38. The pact
addressed gender gaps in employment and social protection and committed the EU to
combatting all forms of violence against women. It indicated how gender equality had to
be taken in due consideration within the European Semester process39 main steps (the
Annual Growth Survey, Country Opinions, and Country Specific Recommendations). It was
designed coherently with the previous Strategy for Equality between Women and Men
2010-2015 and mirrored in the subsequent European Commission document: Strategic
Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-201940.
The Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 builds on the existing knowledge and
achievements of EU institutions, and identifies the following future objectives:
a) being free from violence and stereotypes;
b) thriving in a gender-equal economy;
c) leading equally throughout society;
d) adopting gender mainstreaming and an intersectional perspective in EU policies;
e) funding actions to make progress in gender equality in the EU;
f) addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment across the world.
Three of these objectives, i.e. a, b, and d, are particularly relevant for PES organisations
(though they might also support the implementation of other objectives ).
Gender mainstreaming/intersectionality is a systemic objective and refers to the approach
to policy making and is aimed at ensuring that policies and programmes maximise the
potential of all women and men, girls and boys, in all their diversity. Gender equality, as
well as attention to combatting all sources of discrimination, has to be incorporated in
37 The Polish PES authority notes that the issue is not among its competences.
38 Available at:
39 The European Semester is an essential part of the EU's economic governance framework implementing the
aims of the EU strategies for growth (as the EU 2020 strategy). It is the process by which the economic and
fiscal policy is coordinated within the EU to achieve the objectives agreed at EU level through the EU strategies
for growth (as the EU 2020 strategy).
40 European Commission (2016), Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019, SWD(2015) 278 final,
Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, available at:

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