On 11th October 2017, the European Gender Equality Institute (EIGE) released its full report on Gender Equality and summarised that while there has been progress, it is still very slow – “We are moving forward at a snail’s pace.” Overall, Croatia ranks low, sitting at 24th out of 28 countries.
On Wednesday 11th October 2017, the European Equality Institute (EIGE) released a full report depicting the state of gender equality today. “Measuring the progress of gender inequality is an integral part of effective policy-making… [as it] supports the development and implementation of evidence-based gender equality policies and legislation and shows the different outcomes of those policies for women and men.” The Gender Equality Index is made up of 6 key areas: “work, money, knowledge, time, power and health.”
The top three countries are Sweden (82.6), Denmark (76.8) and Finland (73) while Greece lies at the bottom with a score of 50 points (out of 100).
Out of the EU’s 28-member states, Croatia ranks 24th
Croatia ranks 24th out of the EU’s 28-member states listed with a gender equality index of 53.1 points, ahead of Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Greece (in this order). The average European score is 66.2, so Croatia is well below average.
Croatia has improved in (almost) all areas of the key factors for gender equality
Looking at the graph which portrays the 6 key areas, overall, Croatia has improved in all areas (since 2012) except for health which remains unchanged. Comparable to other countries, Croatia performs well in health (83.3), money (69.9) and work (69.4) but low in regards to time (51), knowledge (49.8) and particularly power with a score of 28.5 points.
Credit: EIGE report
Croatia ranks extremely low in regards to men participating in housework, 11.9%
Time: pertains to time spent in care, domestic duties and social activities.
The EIGE reveals that there is an overall lack of progress in 12 countries when it comes to time use of women and men. On average, only 1 in 3 men engage in daily cooking and housework while 79% women do it. In Croatia, it is even worse, a mere 11.9% of men participate in housework – 2 in 10! And, overall, “men have more time for sporting, cultural and leisure activities.”
The biggest improvement in the EU has been in regards to decision-making (though it still has a long way to go)
Power: “represents gender equality in decision-making positions across the political, economic and social spheres.”
The EIGE reports that the “biggest boost for gender equality over the last ten years has been in the area of decision-making, especially in the private sector.” Although it has improved by nearly 10 points, at 48.5, it still has the lowest score among the other key areas which tells us that we still have a way to go in regards to leveling out the power distribution in the workplace. Particularly in Croatia, which falls at the lower end of the spectrum and well-below the average with 28.5 points.
Croatia shows improvement while Britain has made virtually zero progress
However, while ranking low, it seems that Croatia has still at least improved in all areas (bar remaining unchanged in health); whereas, The Guardian reports that “Britain has made zero progress in tackling inequality between the sexes in the past decade”, joining Slovakia and the Czech Republic as having made no significant progress in inequality.
Moving forward but making slow progress
The EIGE summarised and concluded that “We are moving forward but overall progress is very slow. The EU’s score is just four points higher than 10 years ago, now 66.2 out of 100… We are moving forward at a snail’s pace. We are still a long way off from reaching a gender-equal society and all countries in the European Union have room to improve.”
As an outsider perspective, coming from New Zealand and now living in Croatia, some of the gaps in gender equality are strikingly obvious like work and household duties. It is still very much ‘traditional’ for women to do all of the housework and I have even been told off before for ‘allowing’ my husband to pick up dishes. This is a delicate topic, so I will tread lightly but agree with the summary of the EIGE that there is vast room for improvement.
As a society, reports like this are pertinent markers to see where we are in comparison to where we have been and hopefully light the way for continued future progress.
Source: EIGE report