"Women are continuing to drive employment growth in Europe, but remain disadvantaged on the labour market in relation to men." This is the main piece of information from a report on equality between men and women published on 23 January by the European Commission. Despite higher educational attainment, women continue to be employed less, their career is shorter, and are paid less than men.

The Commission's report highlights that the quantitative progress of women on the labour market has not yet been matched in qualitative terms. On the one hand, more than 7.5 out of the 12 million new jobs created in the EU since 2000 have been taken by women. Their employment rate now stands at 57.2%, or 3.5 points above its 2000 level, compared with a less than one point rise in the rate of male employment over the same period. Similarly, the rise in the rate of employment of women over the age of 55 has been significantly faster than that of men, and now stands at 34.8%, which is a 7.4-point increase on 2000.

On the other hand, several aspects of the quality of women's work remain problematic. Despite the fact that women represent 59% of university graduates and have a better educational attainment, their employment rate remains lower than men's (by 14.4 points) and they continue to earn on average 15% less than men for every hour worked. Women also face greater difficulties in reaching...

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