Finland ranked fourth in the index measuring gender equality in the EU. Sweden holds the top place with 83.8 points and Denmark comes second with 77.4. France maintained its ranking from last year as the third best with 75.1 points. Finland improved its overall score, but remained in 4th place with 74.7.
The EU average is 67.9
The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) released last week its fifth index measuring gender equality in the EU. The Gender Equality Index shows what progress has been made on gender equality in the EU Member States since 2010.
The Index measures the state of gender equality in six domains: work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. This year the Index focuses on digitalisation and its impact on working life and gender equality.
Finland improved its score from last year but long-term progress is slow.
Sweden, Denmark top the ranking
Sweden and Denmark have ranked among the top countries since 2010 when the first Gender Equality Index was released. Earlier, Finland was also placed in the top three countries.
Last year, however, France passed Finland, and it maintained its ranking this year.
Finland’s progress has been slower in the last decade. During the ten-year period, Finland’s score has improved by 1.6 points while Sweden’s score has improved by 3.7 points, Denmark’s by 2.2 points and France’s by 7.6 points.
The EU average has increased by 4.1 points since 2010.
Women in decision-making positions
Finland’s score increased the most in the domain of power. Gender equality improved not only in political and economic decision-making but also in social decision-making.
The increase is due to the fact, for example, that women’s representation in the 2019 parliamentary elections and the Government increased, as did the share of women on the boards of large listed companies and different governing boards.
The changes are relatively small in other domains. Finland’s scores increased in the domains of work and knowledge, but they dropped in the domains of money and health.
Below the EU average
Despite the increase, Finland’s score for the domain of knowledge is below the EU average, and the score for gender segregation in education is nearly 10 points below the EU average.
According to the indicators used for the Gender Equality Index, Finland ranks at the bottom in gender segregation in education.
Digitalisation, a risk of inequality
Women and men use the internet daily to a more or less equal extent across the EU. However, the percentage of older women and women with lower education who have never had the chance to use the internet is higher when compared to men in the same group.
Women are also in a clear minority in terms of graduates in ICT-related fields (20%) and people in ICT jobs (18%). The proportion of women working in ICT jobs has decreased by four percentage points since 2010.
There are also much fewer women among scientists and engineers in the high-technology sectors likely to be mobilised in the design and development of new digital technologies.
Digitalisation has created new jobs that are often concentrated in the male-dominated ICT and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.
“Finland has made progress towards gender equality but there is still work to be done. The effects of digitalisation on gender equality need to be monitored closely and measures need to be taken at both the national and EU levels," says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality.