European Union Gender Equality Policies Since 1957


The European Union (EU) is considered one of the world’s most advanced political systems with regard to the promotion of gender equality, with its policies aiming to combat gender inequality often being considered “exceptional”.

For nearly four decades, the EU has imposed on member states a series of norms and values that are higher than those in effect in most countries, and has offered a particularly welcoming environment for feminist mobilization. Nevertheless, the serious and lasting economic and budgetary crisis in the late 2000s has raised questions about the EU’s capacity to offer a privileged space for the deployment of an ambitious public initiative to combat gender inequality.