European Commission launches campaign to combat gender stereotypes


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Gender stereotypes are still widely prevalent in EU countries. For example, 44% of Europeans think that a woman’s most important role is to take care of the home and family.

The European Commission has recently launched a social media campaign to reconsider these perspectives and initiate a discussion on gender stereotypes at EU level. The campaign addresses gender stereotypes across the region, including Romania.

The campaign will be running from 3 July 2023 with the hashtag #EndGenderStereotypes and aims to raise awareness of the damaging effects of gender stereotypes on both women and men by limiting the options and opportunities available to everyone. By combating these stereotypes, the campaign aims to promote gender equality and create a more inclusive and liberated society for all.

The visuals created for this campaign are meant to invite the public to reflect on the unusual, unexpected, or surprising nature of the situations presented.

“Gender stereotypes are still widespread in European societies. They are not just people’s opinions, but beliefs that have a real impact on the quality of life of women and men. Expectations formed about what a girl should and should not study, what kind of job a man should have, or what roles suit women in private and public life also have negative implications on the labour market and in society in general, leading to economic inequalities between women and men in the long run. Gender stereotypes must be challenged as they limit personal choices and freedoms. I am convinced that this campaign will invite reflection on gender stereotypes and contribute to improving behavioural patterns. I call on all Europeans to join us in our efforts to end gender stereotypes across the EU,” said Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality.

Gender stereotypes are still prevalent in the labour market, in care and in the distribution of leadership positions

Gender stereotypes continue to limit opportunities in the workplace, impacting the quality of life. Although women account for 51% of the European population and outnumber men at university in many fields, they continue to be under-represented in the workplace. The lack of diversity is evident in sectors such as Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM), as well as in leadership positions. According to Eurostat, only 67.7% of women in the EU were employed full-time, compared to 78.5% of men. Only 20% of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) graduates are women, while only 8% of CEOs of large, listed EU companies are women.

The unequal distribution of unpaid care work and household tasks puts a disproportionate burden on women, even where they are employed full-time. This leaves many women forced to choose part-time work or compromise their career aspirations. Men also frequently face difficulties based on gender stereotypes. For example, unjustified social expectations and stereotypes make it harder for men to opt for parental leave when they want it.

Gender stereotypes remain high in Romania too

Romania ranks 26th in the EU in the Gender Equality Index, with a score of 53.7 out of 100, 14.9 points below the EU average.

Gender inequality is pronounced in leadership positions, with the score in this area dropping 2.1 points from 2019 to 32.6 points. In 2022, women had a share of only 4.5% in government and only 20% in parliament. The index is also very low in the economic environment, at 17.8 points, placing the country last among EU countries.

A Eurobarometer survey shows that Romanians continue to have a high level of gender stereotyping. 69% of Romanian respondents agreed with the statement that a woman’s most important role is to take care of the home and family, while the same percentage considered that a man’s main role is to provide financial support. Such stereotypes affect not only roles in society but also perceptions of emotional expression. For example, 33% of Romanian respondents say they do not find it normal for a man to cry. 65% of respondents expressed the belief that women are more likely than men to make decisions based on emotions.

More information

More information about the campaign, including downloadable materials, is available either on the End Gender Stereotypes website or by following the hashtag #EndGenderStereotypes on social media.


The campaign is part of the implementation of the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 and will be rolled out across EU Member States starting on 3 July 2023. The Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 aims to create a Union where women and men, in all their diversity, can pursue their chosen paths in life, free from gender-based violence and stereotypes. The strategy aims to provide equal opportunities for everyone to thrive and participate in leadership roles in the European society.

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