Weekly Open Data: Gender equality in Europe

Gender equality in Europe by OpenDataSoft

After investigating if French TGV trains were always late, we have decided to confront gender equality in Europe. From Olympe de Gouges’ Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen to the 1954 Rome treaty, gender equality is at the heart of the European debate. But how could one tell the difference between mere political intentions and true resolution? With an Open Data investigation, of course!

In 2013, the European Institute for Gender Equality published a dataset along a complete study on European gender equality in 2010. This dataset, which is available on the European Union Open Data portal, compiles results for all 27 (at the time) European member states. Six core domains were took into account for this study: work, money, knowledge, time, power and health.

These six core domains were then broken into thirty-eight sub-domains as varied as life expectancy, political representation and time dedicated to children. A score from 1 (flagrant inequality) to 100 (complete equality) was then given to each member state.


Gender equality in Europe – No overall flagrant inequality?

After cleaning up the dataset, we uploaded it to our public Open Data portal and started playing around with it. Our first move was to pass our dataset through our Cartograph tool. Cartograph makes highly-readable interactive map creation very easy. To get a better picture of gender equality throughout Europe, we gave each country a color based on its ranking. We defined three categories:

  • Red: flagrant inequality (general index from 1 to 33)
  • Orange: moderate equality (general index from 34 to 66)
  • Green:  significant equality (general index from 67 to 100)

First thing we see, is that no country was flagged by an overall flagrant inequality. This is why there are no red zone on our map.

We observed that all 27 member states were split between the top two categories: moderate equality and complete equality. But let’s see what happened when we dug deeper underneath this relative homogeneity.

The first graph reveals each member state’s score in 2010. Romania, with a general index of 35,3, was the last on the list. At the other end, Denmark, Sweden and Finland were leading the way towards complete gender equality with indexes scoring more that 73. What about exploring a few core domains: work, money and time?


Gender equality in Europe – Work

The work index consisted in eight sub-domains : participation, FTE employment, duration of working life, segregation and quality of work, sectoral segregation, flexibility of working life, health and safety, and training at work.

First observation, this core domain was generally better off than the general index. Bulgaria was still behind with a mere 50. France barely joined the top category with a 67 score. Finland remained a good student with 82.


Gender equality in Europe – Money

Even with progress in closing the gender gap, money disparities between men and women were still very strong in 2010. Eastern Europe countries clearly paid women less than men for doing the exact same job. For example, Romania, Bulgaria and Latvia scored between 39 and 42. On the other hand, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are the most egalitarian of the 27 member states.


Gender equality in Europe – Time

This core domain focused on unpaid activites such as household activities, leisure and charitable deeds.

Domestic, childcare and household activities showed strong disparities. In Finland, Sweden and United-Kingdom, parents were taking a more equal part in household activities than in childcare. In France, gender equality issues never sank in household and domestic tasks, with a mere 35 (same as Lithuania).


Gender equality in Europe – Power

In the end, we focused on gender equality in the political arena through three sub-domains: ministerial, parliamentary and regional representation. Comparing French and Swedish situations was enlightening. Let’s stress on the fact that in July 2008, the first article of the French Constitution had been modified to read « the law favours the equal access of women and men to electoral mandates and elective functions ». In 2010, facts were very clear:

Regional representation showed a strong tendency toward equality (91,3). However, ministerial (62,2) and parliamentary (33,7) functions were still the appanage of men. Sweden was better in all three sub-domains.

This was a brief example of some key features offered by OpenDataSoft SaaS solution. You can now easily explore complex datasets and share your conclusions with a few clicks. Embedded graphs and maps are synchronized with the data portal and will be automatically updated if datasets are modified.

With OpenDataSoft, it has never been that easy to let your data talk.


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