Cost-of-living crisis exacerbates poverty for women in Europe

By Caritas Europa

Across Europe, women face more socio-economic challenges and higher poverty levels than men. As a general rule, their contracts are precarious, their pay is lower, and they are more likely to do unpaid childcare work. When it comes to accessing education, healthcare, employment, and social services, some groups of women face intersecting forms of discrimination. These include women over 65, women with disabilities, and women from ethnic minorities. Moreover, since COVID-19, the inequalities between men and women have increased in employment, education, and health, and the current cost-of-living crisis also disproportionately affects women due to their lower average income, poor and inefficient housing, and dependency on social benefits.

At the current rate of progress, the EU is still at least 60 years away from achieving gender equality, even though SDG 1 aims to end poverty in all forms everywhere, and SDG 5 aims to empower all women and girls by 2030.

Caritas Europa urges EU leaders to better tackle the challenges of women experiencing poverty in Europe in its position paper published ahead of International Women’s Day. Ahead of the next European Parliament elections in May 2024, the EU and its Member States need to take more action to mainstream gender equality across all relevant policies.

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