A Dynamic Towards Gender Equality? Participation and Employment in European Labour Markets

  • Hélène PérivierEmail author
  • Grégory Verdugo


In most European countries, female participation in the labour force increased dramatically over the last decades. Nevertheless, the gender gap in participation remain large. Beside these trends, the most recent business cycles affected differently female and male employment and the gendered impact of the great recession is now well documented in the literature. In this chapter, we describe the evolution of the European labour markets with a gender perspective. We analyse the trends in two major indicators, participation and employment rate, considering the type of gender regime that characterized each country. For each indicator, we distinguish the structural evolutions from the cyclical dynamic explained to the crisis. The increase in the level of education of women is a major factor of their growing participation in the labour market. We discuss how the European Union attempted to monitor the increase in female involvement on the labour market and the decrease in the gender gap. By focusing on employment rate without considering part-time employment, the European Employment strategy has limited the achievement in terms of gender equality, especially for countries with a high share of women working part-time. The H2020 framework contains no gender targets.


Gender inequalities Labour market European Employment Strategy Recession Gender regimes 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OFCE, Sciences PoParisFrance
  2. 2.PRESAGE, Sciences PoParisFrance
  3. 3.Université d’EvryÉvryFrance

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