Luxembourg’s poor ranking in Gender Equality measures (it ranked 66th in the Global Gender Gap 2008; down 8 places from the previous year) can be explained by the low female employment rates, slow progress on implementing and promoting gender equality principles in legislation (including ratifying CEDAW ‘s optional clauses) and traditional emphasis on women’s responsibility for childrearing and housework. While there is gender parity in educational attainment, women face a glass ceiling in political life and in employment opportunities that can not be overcome without greater reform of the labour market and legislation.
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The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.
The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.
In the Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014 Edition , Luxembourg was not classified in the SIGI due to lack of full dataset. It has lower discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets and higher discrimination in restricted civil liberties. Read the full country profile and access the data here: http://www.genderindex.org/country/luxembourg
Established in 1995, equal opportunities legislation is overseen by the Ministere pour la promotion feminine. Luxembourg has made a number of revisions and changes in the past five years to its legislation to incorporate gender equality principles:
- the revision of Article 11 of the Constitution adopted on 21 June 2006 which anchors the principle of equality between women and men in the legislative framework of the State;
- the adoption in 2005 of the Law on the Naming of Children;
- the adoption on 3 June 2004 of the Law on Collective Labour Relations which emphasises the principle of equal pay for women and men in labour contracts;
- the adoption of the Domestic Violence Law of 8 September 2003;
- the enactment of the Law of 19 May 2003 amending the General Statute of Civil Servants and which introduces
measures to promote the reconciliation of family and working life.
Women have had the right to vote since 1919. There has been reluctance to introduce quotas to improve women’s participation in politics. Women remain underrepresented in political parties and parliament and progress made in representation of women in political life has been slow. Fewer women were appointed to serve as ministers in the
2004 Government and very few women hold positions at the highest level in diplomacy.
In 2006, the proportion of young women aged 20 to 24 years who had at least completed their secondary Education was higher than the corresponding proportion of men. Women are markedly more present in the fields of healthcare and social welfare training, teaching, languages, literary activities, life sciences, social sciences, business and law
The employment rate of women has increased from 41.7% in 1988 to 58.2% in 2006. The improvement is partially explained by the increase in part-time work, which rose from 16% in 1985 to 36% in 2006. The government has taken measures to increase female participation in the labour force. It has introduced professional training addressed exclusively to women and encourages females to choose scientific and technical subjects in their education.; it has also introduced parental and family leave as well as subsidies to private businesses that re-organise working arrangements to facilitate the reconciliation of family and working lives. There are plans to expand child care services.
Female-dominated sectors of activity: household activities (97%); health and social services (76%), other personal services (59%), education (59%) and hotels and restaurants (52%). Women are almost equally represented in the retail sector, public administration and financial intermediation, at about 45% respectively. In contrast, they are markedly underrepresented in the construction sector (7%), transport and communications (16%), as well as in the manufacturing (17%) and agricultural sectors (23%). Women are paid on average 13% less than men. This difference amounts to 18%, on average, for blue-collar workers and to 24% for white-collar workers.
- STATEC: http://www.portrait.public.lu/en/functions/search/resultHighlight/index.php?linkId=3&SID=0c6c1925fffa963009ee25b8b02751e8
- OECD, Economic Survey of Luxembourg (2006)
- Veronique De Broeck, “More Women in the Labour Market”, (2008)
- CEDAW, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention. Fifth periodic report of Luxembourg, (2008)
- WEF, Global Gender Gap Report (2008)