Gender equality in European Union's labour market- Particularities, Facts and Actions

Seminar Paper 2006 14 Pages

Economics - Job market economics



1 Introduction

2 European particularities
2.1 Institutional systems
2.2 Internal diversities
2.2.1 Economic systems
2.2.2 Political systems
2.2.3 Cultural varieties

3 Generated outcomes

4 Gender equality development in the European Union
4.1 The Treaty of Rome
4.2 Internal Reforms
4.3 The Maastricht Treaty
4.4 The Treaty of Amsterdam
4.5 The Treaty of Nice

5 Gender mainstreaming in the European Union
5.1 Implementation & tools

6 References

1 Introduction

The labour market within the European Union is an enormously remarkable area to observe several interesting issues regarding relationships between both genders. The multicultural conglomerate is now incorporating 25 autonomous European countries including approximately 379.400.000 million people, who are speaking over 30 different languages. As a result the European Community presents a great variety of distinctive cultures, different federal government systems and diverse lifestyles, which are all minted through long and deep historical influences.

The European labour market has a much longer record than the North American one. Bearing in mind this fact occupational diversities are significant particularities for gender equality investigations in terms of trends, distribution, sectors and education levels, job requirements and wage systems within the European labour market, which is suffering from gender inequalities.

The European Union as a supranational organization and every single national government are contributing programs and actions to ascertain gender equity within the borders of European domestic labour market.

2 European particularities

Gender is the social meaning that is given to

biological differences between the sexes; it

refers to cultural constructs rather

than to biological givens.

(Ferber and Nelson 1993: 9-10)

The European labour market system disposes of some very significant differences in comparison with the North American labour market. The indication of those particularities is an essential starting point for further investigations about uniformities, dissimilarities and discriminations between the two sexes within the European labour force system.

2.1 Institutional systems

The most significant divergence between North America and Europe is the composition of institutional systems. All of the European socio-institutional arrangements are considered as more extensive in distinction to the scheme of the United States and Canada. The EU (European Union) as a supranational entity and the governments of its member countries are much more actively involved in processes regulating certain spheres such as health care and retirement. This profound participation of the institutional entities is conditioning the European labour market, what consequentially has notably more restrictions and regulations than the market overseas. Limitations are visible in many policies concerning rules of recruitment, firing, wage setting and social security. In most of the European countries regulations and restrictions are incorporated in national (federal) law or directed by the European Union. In all of the member countries policies are concerning the public as well as the private sector, however in an uneven intensities. Commonly, these federal interventions into the labour market system through regulations, e.g. minimum wage setting or fixed firing notice periods are advantaging rather the employee than the employer. As an outcome in most of the European countries the wage gab – although growing – is much smaller, and the welfare states provide more employment opportunities for women in particular (Dijkstra and Plantenga, 1997:6).

2.2 Internal diversities

Comparing the North American labour market with the European in terms of dimension similarities may be postulated. But, besides this match of size the construct itself is tremendously different. The European community is a conglomerate of now 25 different countries and each of those countries has an own national labour market. The aim of the EU is to channel those autonomous and separate markets into a collective and uniform European labour market, which could be regulated and conducted by a supranational organisation in order to improve its performance and to enlarge welfare in the member countries. This whole procedure is a very hard purpose due to the long history of the national labour markets, what generated many deeply rooted differences.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
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Institution / College
Saint Mary's University – Economics
1,00 (A+)
Gender European Union Particularities Facts Actions



Title: Gender equality in European Union's labour market- Particularities, Facts and Actions