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    EU worsens for gender equality, says Eurostat

    A march for women's rights. Credit: Belga

    The European Union has made only moderate progress on most of the United Nations sustainable development objectives, according to a Eurostat report published on Monday.

    There was even a loss of ground in terms of gender equality, according to the report, and progress on climate action has stagnated.

    While women occupy more seats in parliaments and more top positions in companies, the EU scored a deficit on almost all other indicators.

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    More men than women leave school early, and women are still at a disadvantage on the labour market. There is still a 15% pay gap between men and women. Moreover, female employment is stagnating.

    “More and more women are not active because they have care responsibilities,” Gentiloni indicated.

    The statistics used by Eurostat were from before the coronavirus outbreak. “We need to study whether the lockdown has worsened the gender equality situation,” Gentiloni said. Whatever the outcome, the topic should be more prominent in the annual socio-economic recommendations to the Member States, according to Gentiloni.

    As for the climate, while the EU wants to be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, it is advancing less than before. Greenhouse gas emissions fell by 20.6% between 2003 and 2018 compared to 1990, but only reduced by 2.7% between 2013 and 2018, which is far too little to achieve a 40% reduction by 2030.

    The European Union continues to take a leading role, but the results are insufficient,” said euro commissioner Paolo Gentiloni. The statistics should encourage the European Commission to push the European Green Deal and sharpen its goal to reduce emissions by 50 or even 55% by 2030.

    Meanwhile, “strong” progress was reportedly made for the goal of “peace, justice and strong institutions,” and there was “good” progress on poverty reduction, health and well-being, decent work and economic growth. On eight other objectives, progress was reportedly moderate.

    The UN’s goals were set in 2015 and are to be achieved by 2030.

    The Brussels Times