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Finland's capital region Helsinki-Uusimaa offers the best conditions for women

Which EU regions are the most gender-equal?

Which EU regions are the most gender-equal?

On average, only 1 in 3 women in the EU is satisfied with her life

Gender equality is one of the European Union’s core values. Despite this, women in the EU do not have equal opportunities. What is more, the achievements and disadvantages they have depend on the region and member state they live in. Using the Regional Gender Equality Monitor, researchers have now set out to find out which EU regions are best for both women and men to live in.

Speaking at the 2021 EURegionsWeek, Senior Statistician and Policy Consultant Hedvig Norlén shared that on average, 1 in every 3 women in the EU is satisfied with her life. This average has been calculated based on findings which reveal that 3 in 4 women in Finland feel fulfilled, whereas only 1 in 10 share this feeling in Croatia.

Regional Gender Equality Monitor

To understand which EU regions are the most gender-equal, researchers asked two questions: “Where do women perform better?” and “Where are they less disadvantaged relative to men?” To answer these, they used the Regional Gender Equality Monitor that is based on two composite indicators, the Female Achievement Index (FemAI) and the Female Disadvantage Index (FemDI).

These indices consist of 33 indicators that are grouped in 7 key domains: Work & Money, Knowledge, Time, Power, Health, Safety, Security & Trust and Quality of Life.

Nordic regions allow women to thrive

The findings of the research revealed that the Nordic regions have the highest levels of female achievement. More specifically, the highest score on the Female Achievement Index was found in Finland’s capital region, Helsinki-Uusimaa. The lowest scoring regions were found to be the south-eastern member states, particularly the Romanian Sud-Est regions.

Taking a look at the results of the Female Disadvantage Index, one can see that women in the Nordic countries, France, and Spain have the smallest disadvantage. According to the findings, the four regions with the lowest scores on the FemDI are Auvergne in France, La Rioja and Galicia in Spain and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland. The areas with the biggest female disadvantage are Greece and Romania.

On the whole, the monitor revealed that the Nordic regions, as well as France and Spain, are areas where women experience low levels of disadvantage and high levels of achievement. The regions and locations with the worst combinations of conditions (i.e., high disadvantage and low achievement) are found in the eastern and southern member states. This includes Greece, Romania, and Italy, among others.  

It is important to consider that women typically achieve less when they are at a disadvantage. Creating more opportunities for women will not only allow them to achieve more but also result in higher GDP, quality of government, and human development. Thus, helping women is best for everyone, including economies and governments.

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