In addition, to design fair and effective policy the gender dimensions of emerging trends will need careful consideration. In some countries, cuts to public services and other austerity measures have undermined progress towards women’s integration into the labour market and a more equal division of care responsibilities between women, men and society. This could have a lasting impact, whilst population ageing could put further pressure on women to ‘fill gaps’ in public provision.
Women, young people and migrants are also the groups most likely to be engaged in expanding non-standard forms of work, which allow more people to engage in the labour market, but are insecure and linked with lower pay, training and maternity benefits. EU data shows that almost half of women with low qualifications (45 %) work in a precarious job compared to just over a quarter of men with the same level of education (26 %), contributing to an increased risk of poverty and social exclusion. Conversely, in terms of education outcomes, boys are currently faring badly. Ensuring that both sexes are equally able to take full advantage of higher paid, higher quality jobs in expanding sectors will therefore be a key challenge. Europe has a wide gender gap across the digital sector, with girls and women less likely to have advanced IT skills or a career in ICT, reach specialist and managerial levels, or start their own tech companies. Analysis also shows that while the digital revolution is bringing new opportunities for gender equality in areas such as employment and political activism, it comes with a resurgence of misogyny and new forms of cyber-violence that can be barriers to women’s participation.