Women and men, equality in question 2022 edition

This book takes stock of equality between women and men today in France. This edition follows the 2017 edition.

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Paru le :Paru le03/03/2022
Philippe Roussel (Insee)
Femmes et hommes – L’égalité en question- March 2022

Women and men: a slow decline in inequality

Philippe Roussel (Insee)

At school, girls perform better than boys. For those who go on to higher education, they tend to choose careers in the medical and social fields and in the humanities. Thus, women's employment is concentrated in certain sectors of activity and certain occupations, particularly in the service and care sectors. Although they are more highly educated than men, women accounted for only 43% of managerial and professional jobs in 2020. However, this share has doubled since 1980.

The participation rate of women has been steadily increasing since the mid-1970s, while that of men has been rather stable since the early 1990s: in 2020, among 15-64 year-olds, 68% of women and 75% of men participated in the labour market. In 2019, women's wage income was still 22% lower on average than men's (28% in 2000). Just under a third of this gap was due to differences in working hours. When children arrive, more women than men take time off from work or reduce their working hours in order to reconcile their private and professional lives: in 2020, women who were working were three times more likely than men to work part-time (five times more in 2008). Women are also less likely to have access to the best paid jobs and to work in lower paying companies and sectors.

Living with a partner is the most common situation. However, with the increase in the number of marital breakdowns, the number of mothers heading a single-parent family rose by 24% between 2006 and 2018. One in three of them lives below the poverty line. Due to shorter and less well-paid working careers, women retire on average one year later than men and their pensions are lower. Finally, due to a higher life expectancy, women are in the majority among those aged 65 or over, and their share increases with age. Women are more likely to be widowed, to live alone in old age and, after 75, to live in institutions and in dependent situations.

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Paru le :03/05/2022