Study: “Gender Equality and Taxation in the European Union”

Written by Gunnarsson, Asa; Schratzenstaller, Margit ; Spangenberg, Ulrike;

On 30th of May the study “Gender equality and taxation in the European Union” was presented to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) in the European Parliament which provides an overview of gender aspects in taxation at Member State and EU level and deals with the gender-specific effects of taxation systems.

Although most Member States have abolished tax regulations that implicitly differentiate between men and women, tax systems and fiscal policy decisions still affect women and men differently. As tax regulations interact with gender-differentiated socioeconomic realities, gender gaps persist. In general terms, it can be safely stated that on average men earn more and are wealthier than women.

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Gender Equality: The Panacea for Economic Growth

There are overwhelming differences between women and men in the EU …

  • Women are under-represented in STEM-disciplines. 75% of students are male.
  • The average gender gap is 11.6% in terms of employment; it gets higher with every child that needs to be cared for. Childcare duties have been deemed to be the major reason for part-time work for women in 2015 (39% of women would opt for part-time work due to children while only 4% of men would do so for the same reason).
  • Mostly, it is women who are employed in part-time work (2015: 32.1%, men: 8.9%) which entails higher risks of poverty for them.
  • Gender Pay Gap: On average, women earn 16.1% less than men.

Gender-segregated education and training, low employment intensity, lower wages, precarious employment models and unequal distribution of unpaid work are at the heart of these discrepancies.

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Gender Equality or Not? EIGE Study Proves that Gender Equality Makes a Difference!

If the EU stepped up its efforts to improve gender equality, more jobs would be created, GDP per capita would increase and society would be able to adjust better to the challenges related to the ageing population. These are the main results of a new study by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), launched on the occasion of international women’s day on 8 March 2017.

“Equality between women and men is one of the EU’s fundamental values. It is about fairness. Now numbers talk: equality is a driver for economic growth. Gender equality will bring more growth to Europe”, said Vera Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.

“Our study proves that gender equality is good for the economy and it cannot be disregarded if the EU wants to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth. For far too long, gender inequalities have been limiting women’s economic opportunities and we now have proof that gender equality is crucial for the entire economy”, said Virginija Langbakk, EIGE’s director.

The evidence confirms that improvements to gender equality would generate up to 10.5 million additional jobs by 2050 and the EU employment rate would reach almost 80%. EU Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita would also be positively affected and could increase up to nearly 10% by 2050.

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