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Public expectations and EU commitment on equal treatment of men and women

Public expectations and EU commitment on equal treatment of men and women

Public expectations and EU commitment on equal treatment of men and women

According to a new Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament on ‘perceptions and expectations’, 55% of EU citizens surveyed would like the EU to intervene more in the policy area of equal treatment of men and women. The differences across Member States are significant. The strongest support for increased EU action is seen in Sweden (79%), and the weakest in Latvia (28%). More EU citizens evaluate current EU action in equal treatment of men and women as adequate (48%) than as insufficient (42%) (the only equivalent area being energy supply and security). This is also one of the policy areas with the smallest number of respondents unable to evaluate EU involvement (only 4%) and the area with the highest proportion of EU citizens who would like EU involvement to remain as it currently is (33%). Although in some Member States there is a gap between citizens’ expectations for EU involvement and their perception of current involvement, overall there is a certain level of satisfaction with the current level of EU involvement. Considering that 76% of EU citizens think that tackling inequality between men and women should be an EU priority, the importance of this policy area is very high. Some of the measures to tackle inequality considered most effective are: making sure women earn the same as men for the same work (42%), making childcare more accessible (36%), and increasing flexible work arrangements (33%). However, violence against women is perceived as the most urgent gender inequality issue to be addressed (59%). Women express stronger support than men – 60 to 50%. Amongst the under 25s, women express the highest (63%) and men the lowest level of support (48%), but differences of opinion according to age are not statistically significant.

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