Legal development

Gender equality - overview of EU members governance regulations

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    Gender equality is a concern in many countries around the world as a general and ideological principle.To achieve this objective, many countries have adopted laws and regulations enhancing this principle and applicable to various areas: individual rights, family, maternity/paternity protection, political matters, employment, remuneration, access to equal opportunities, governance of companies.

    The tools used to improve gender equality vary depending on the area concerned, the country at stake and its local culture and situation on this topic. The range of tools vary from mere recommendations or mandatory rules, to minimum mandatory ratios of each gender or mandatory equality.

    This study focuses on gender equality in governance regulations across a benchmark of selected EU countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain).

    Whereas all are sharing the principle of equal treatment between men and women, and whereas all these EU members are close to each other, these countries have adopted different approaches and implement different tools to promote gender equality in the governance of companies. Surprisingly, the regulations on this topic are domestic and not driven by a European regulation or directive.

    Ashurst's offices in the 6 EU Member States concerned have collaborated to carry out this comparative study and to provide an overview of the regulations in force in each country.

    Authors: Anne Reffay, Partner, France; David du Pont, Partner, Belgium; Gerrit Clasen, Partner, Germany; Fabio Niccoli, Partner, Italy; Isabelle Lentz, Partner, Luxembourg, and María José Menéndez, Partner, Spain.