Financial independence and gender equality in the EU

Female employee holding laptop in modern office space, photo by Vadim Pastuh/Adobe Stock

Vadim Pastuh/Adobe Stock

What is the issue?

Being financially dependent on someone else can create and reinforce multiple forms of vulnerability and disadvantage. It can create an imbalanced power dynamic in relationships by restricting the freedom and agency of the financially dependent individual, rendering them vulnerable to control or abuse by their partner. Financial independence is known to be a gendered issue, with women more likely than men to be financially dependent on others.

Existing literature lacks a clear conceptual framework to understand financial independence as a multidimensional concept, and empirical analysis on this issue is hampered by data limitations.

How are we helping?

The overall objective of the study for the European Institute for Gender Equality is to strengthen the institutional capacity to address gender inequalities in financial independence in the EU member states.

The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To define a multidimensional concept of financial independence and to analyse gender inequalities in financial independence
  2. To assess different methodologies, approaches and evidence on income pooling and income sharing in the household from the gender equality perspective
  3. To analyse the existing evidence on the impact of tax systems and social protection measures on gender inequalities in financial independence across the EU member states
  4. To analyse the existing evidence on the consequences of financial dependence for gender inequalities, in particular in relation to economic violence against women

The study will use quantitative and qualitative analysis methods including literature reviews, descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and regression analysis.