Women’s labour market participation in the European Union has increased over recent decades. In 2014, women comprised almost 46% of people active in the EU labour market. Nevertheless, women’s participation rates are still systematically lower than those of men in almost all Member States.
This report explores the main characteristics and the evolution of gender gaps in labour market participation, employment and economic status. It looks at the main
determinants of female labour market participation, investigating the interplay with individual and household characteristics. It examines the economic loss to the EU of the gender gap in employment and undertakes a forecasting exercise to examine the medium- and long-term prospects for increasing female participation rates. The report also studies the social effects of women’s participation in the labour market, as these effects go beyond the economic sphere and extend to women’s well-being and to society as a whole. Finally, it provides an overview and assessment of the effectiveness of policy measures promoting the labour market participation of women in six Member States (Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom), drawing attention to particularly successful and innovative cases.