Equality: Portugal below the European Union average

Portugal appears in 16th place in the Gender Equality Index 2020, below the average of the European Union (EU), having evolved 1,7 percentage points since 2017.

Since 2010, when the Index - an initiative of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), an EU agency based in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania - began to be published, Portugal has climbed four positions in the table, currently led by Sweden, Denmark and France.

The best performances in Portugal are in the spheres of health (although it is only in the 20th position among the Member States) and work (in the 15th position).

The greatest gender inequalities are revealed in terms of time (sharing household chores and family assistance), where Portugal is the third country after the end of the table.

Also in terms of power, inequalities are large, but, as they are in most Member States, Portugal appears in 13th place.

Still, time and power are the spheres in which Portugal has evolved the most since 2010.

With regard to the sphere of power, Portugal is one of six countries with binding legislation on gender equality in companies, but it is still below the target.

In 2017, Portugal adopted quotas for women in public and publicly traded companies, and in one year, female representation on boards of directors and supervisory bodies rose from 16,2% to 24,8%.

“Political will has an impact. The policy of equality in business administrations had an impact on economic decisions ”, analyzes Lithuanian Jolanta Reingarde, researcher and project coordinator at EIGE, in an interview with Lusa via Skype.

France is the only country in the EU to have more than 40 percent women on company boards. Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Holland, Finland and Sweden are around a third of women.

“These countries are leading the way in the EU, but if others do not follow them, there will be a slowdown,” warns Carlien Scheele, director of EIGE, in the same interview.

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