Eurostat’s data on gender equality for the decade 2010-2020 reveal that while women have earned less per hour than their male counterparts, the difference in average wages between men and women across the EU has narrowed in absolute terms as averages shifted from 16.8 per cent in 2010 to 13 per cent in 2020.

The release of the statistics coincided with international women’s day which is celebrated on March 8 every year.

In Cyprus, the gap narrowed with average wages going from 15.8 per cent in 2010 to 9 per cent in 2020, while the lowest pay gap for 2020 was recorded in Luxembourg at 0.7 per cent.

As far as EU’s average employment rates for 2020 are concerned, the proportion of men in employment exceeded that of women by 11p.p. as women’s employment rate stood at 66.2 per cent and 77.2 per cent for men.

The lowest gender employment gap was recorded in Lithuania (1.7pp) and the highest in Italy (19.5 p.p.). Figures on gender employment vary across member states and this is partially due to the lower participation of women in the labour markets of countries like Italy, Greece, and Romania.

In Cyprus, the gap stands at 12.2pp with men’s employment rate at 81.1 per cent and women’s at 69.1 per cent and has recorded no significant shift in absolute numbers in the past decade.

Regarding tertiary education attainment, all member states except Germany have recorded a negative gender gap. In other words, the proportion of women holding tertiary education exceeded that of men.

Lastly, life expectancy across all member states was by 5.5 years higher for women than for men.