The European Institute for Gender Equality – EIGE, an institution of the European Union, periodically conducts the Gender Equality Index. The most recent, in 2021, gives Romania a score of 54.5 (where 0 represents total inequality and 100, total equality), placing our country in 25th place in the EU, followed only by Hungary, Greece. The EU average is 68, with the leading countries being Sweden (83.9) and Denmark (77.8), with the Netherlands (75.9), France (75.5) and Finland (75.3) also having a high degree of gender equality.
The Gender Equality Index covers six main areas (work, money, knowledge, time, power and health) and two satellite areas (intersecting inequalities and violence). It measures not only gender disparities between women and men, but also takes into account the country context and the different levels of achievement of Member States’ targets in different areas. A high overall score reflects both low (or absent) gender gaps and a good overall situation (e.g. a high employment share for both men and women).
In Romania, the work force domain has a score of 67.5% and refers to:
- Women’s and men’s participation in the work force differs in unemployment rates, in full-time and part-time work, etc. Women have a slightly lower employment rate than men and tend to work part-time more than men, partly due to family and household duties and strict gender roles.
- Segregation by field of work (“female” and “male” fields such as health, education, IT or engineering). This is relevant as “female” fields are on average lower paid than “male” ones.
- Gender pay gap, calculated as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of men and women expressed as a percentage of the average gross hourly earnings of men. In Romania in 2019, the gap was 3.3%, the second lowest in the EU, while the European average was 14.1%.
- The risk of poverty and social exclusion, with women, especially older women, more at risk than men.
- Life expectancy, higher for women in Romania (79 years) than for men (72 years). These differences are partly due to biological factors, difficult working conditions for part of the male population, as well as risky health behavior, which is more common among men (alcohol consumption, unbalanced diets, etc.).
- Access to health services, including sexual and reproductive health.
- In Romania, 28.5% of women experience physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime.
- In terms of domestic violence, 92% of perpetrators are men, 76% of victims are women.