This domain refers to the different way in which women and men handle the concept of “work-life balance”, therefore the different manner in which they allocate their time between the various activities that characterize the everyday life.

As the others listed before, this domain is divided into two sub-domains which assess respectively the “care activities” and “social activities” (the economic ones are left apart since they are already present in the indicators that measure the women's participation to the labour market).

Both the caring and social activities are addressed with provisions based on the “Barcelona Targets”, undertaken as a commitment by the European Council to be achieved by 2010, acknowledging that ensuring affordable childcare provisions will help to improve indicators related to equal opportunities in employment. These are respectively: providing childcare to at least 90% of children between 3 years old and the mandatory school age, and to at least 33% of children under 3 years old.

One ultimate aim that Europe has as regards the “care activities” is to move from a model with one male earner and female carer to a dual model where both man and woman are earners and carers: as matter of fact, this sub-domain evaluates the amount of time spent by women and by men in caring and educating children and their involvement in housework.

The undeniable fact that for women still seems somehow compulsory to spend more time than men in doing these activities influences different aspects of their life, in particular the career: the gender employment gap is strongly linked to family and care activities, making statisticians state that with the exception of Sweden, Portugal and Slovenia, the employment rate for women with children is surely lower than the one for women without children.

Interestingly, the way in which women and men handle the allocation of time is close to equal only in one Member State, that is Finland, whereas in the other States there are huge gender-based differences in this ambit. The sub-domain of “social activities”, instead, refers to the gender gap viewed from the perspective of the involvement of women in cultural, leisure of sporting activities.

 Even the assessment of the involvement in these kind of activities presents huge gender-based differences among Member States, as demonstrate the 40% of workers in Finland who participate to these activities and the 3% of workers who did participate in Romania.

To conclude, in the EU-28, in spite of all the steps forward and the strategies undertaken in these years, the gender gap in activities related to care is still wide and therefore deserves attention, as well as the one related to social activities.



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