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Structural gender equality in Europe and its evolution over the first decade of the twenty-first century

This paper presents the annual time series and the average annual growth rate of the European Gender Equality Index, which was proposed by Bericat (Soc Indic Res 108:1–28, 2012), for the EU and its 27 member countries for the period 2000–2011. The paper also reports the time series and average annual growth rate for each of the three subdimensions of gender equality—education, work, and power—and the underlying indicators for each subdimension for EU as a whole. The calculated index shows that in the period 2000–2011, overall gender equality, equality in education, work, and power in the EU has been improving at a rate of 1.7, 0.92, 0.65, and 3.48 % per year, respectively. By 2011, overall gender equality, and equality in education, work, and power has reached 58.3, 77.4, 60.9, and 42.7, respectively. In short, this paper offers the scientific community, as well as those that design and implement public policies, a robust, valid and precise synthetic description of the current situation and evolution, from 2000 to 2011, of structural gender equality in European countries.