Cyprus at wrong end of EU Gender Equality Index

3 mins read

Cyprus is languishing at the wrong end of the EU Gender Equality Index ranked 21 out of the 28 countries with its 56.9/100 score 11 points lower than the European average.

Despite making progress in some areas, Cyprus has still managed to slip from 20th last year to 21.

Women are more likely to be paid less, be excluded from decision making and sexually harassed.

Since 2010, Cyprus’ score has increased by 7.9 points (+ 0.6 points since 2017), making slightly faster progress towards gender equality than the other Member States, improving by six places in a decade.

Best performance

Cyprus’ highest scores are in the domains of health (88.0 points) and money (81.7), in which it also performs best in comparison with other Member States (ranking 13th for both).

Biggest improvement

Since 2010, Cyprus’s scores have improved in all domains. The biggest improvements are in the domains of power (+14.4 points) and time (+5.4).

Most room for improvement

Gender inequalities are most pronounced in the domain of power (29.8 points), where Cyprus also performs worst in comparison with other Member States (ranking 24th).

A step backwards

Cyprus has made the least progress in the domains of work (+0.3 points), knowledge (+0.7 points) and money (+1 point).


The shares of women on the board of the central bank and on the boards of the largest publicly listed companies have increased.

Tertiary educational attainment is increasing among both women and men.

Unmet needs for medical care have decreased for women and men.


The number of women ministers remains the same after 10 years.

More women than men are studying education, health and welfare, or humanities and the arts.

There is a big gender gap in mean monthly earnings between women and men born outside the EU. Women earn about half as much as men.

The Gender Equality Index is a composite indicator that measures the complex concept of gender equality, based on the EU policy framework, assists in monitoring progress of gender equality across the EU over time.

The latest Gender Equality Index from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) shows that the EU is improving by just half a point each year.

It said with a score of 67.9 out of 100, “the EU is at least 60 years away from reaching complete gender equality if we continue at the current pace.

Among EU states, Sweden, Denmark, and France keep their top spots. The awards for most improved go to Italy, Luxembourg, and Malta, with each gaining around 10 points since 2010.

Greece, Hungary, and Romania are lagging behind the rest.

“We have seen small, steady gains year on year but this time we have a reason for concern. The coronavirus pandemic poses a serious threat to gender equality progress, which we cannot afford,” said Carlien Scheele, EIGE’s director.

“Gender equality must be sought in all areas of life for all Europeans – regardless of their gender – to reach their full potential. The Gender Equality Index is a crucial tool in this quest as it tracks progress,” said Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality.

Power driving progress

Improved gender equality in decision-making is the main driver of progress in the EU.

The domain of power, which measures the engagement of women and men in decision-making in the areas of politics, economics, media, research and sports accounts for 65 % of all progress in the Index since 2010.

Yet with a score of 53.5 out of 100, it remains the lowest-scoring domain.

Segregation holds us back

One of the biggest problems holding back gender equality is segregation in education and work.

This means a concentration of either women or men in certain subjects or jobs.

Despite efforts to tackle this issue, such as special initiatives to encourage women to study science, engineering or ICT, segregation has actually increased since 2010.

In the EU, only two out of 10 ICT jobs are held by women. In the care sector, there is a lack of men. They make up just 15 % of workers in nursing, midwifery, and personal care in health services.

Cyprus at a glance for women:

  • In your national parliament, 18% of decision-makers are women.
  • You have a 37.9% chance of graduating from university, compared to 31.5% for men.
  • During your life, you will work 5.8 year(s) less than an average man
  • On average, you are likely to earn €1608 every month, while a man is likely to earn €1990.
  • You are 54.2 percentage points more likely to do housework or cook every day.
  • You live in a country where 36% of women have experienced sexual harassment.
  • As a woman from Cyprus, you are likely to live 3.9 year(s) more than a man from your country.