The EU considers gender equality as a fundamental value and has set out an ambitious strategy for 2020-2025 to promote it. In 2022, the EU made significant progress towards gender equality by adopting several laws and proposals, such as the Directive on combating violence against women and domestic violence, the Directive on gender balance on company boards, and the directive on pay transparency measures. Additionally, the EU adopted two Recommendations to improve care services and facilitate women's labor market participation. The Commission also proposed legislation to strengthen equality bodies to combat discrimination, including on grounds of sex. However, women's rights continue to come under pressure globally, with particular examples cited in Russia, Iran, Afghanistan, and the United States. The 2023 report on gender equality in the EU provides an overview of the main initiatives and achievements in promoting gender equality in key areas of the Strategy, as well as key data on the state of play on gender equality in the EU.
The year 2022 has been marked by both positive and negative developments in the area of gender equality. While global progress towards gender parity remains slow, the EU has made some significant strides forward with the adoption of legislation on gender balance in company boards and pay transparency, as well as the Recommendation on the Barcelona targets 2030. However, there is still much work to be done to integrate a gender equality perspective into policy-making for the green and digital transitions and to ensure greater participation of women in politics. The upcoming European Parliament elections in 2024 present an opportunity to promote greater gender balance in legislative bodies.