Are you prepared for what the future holds for gender equality? Strategic foresight is an important tool for future-oriented decision-making, especially with the upcoming European Parliament elections and the next five-year term. EIGE’s Director, Carlien Scheele, shares valuable insights on how the megatrend of widening and diversifying inequalities will impact the future of gender equality.

Alongside flagship work like the Gender Equality Index, EIGE’s programme this year is underpinned by the outcomes of strategic foresight activities, where we look at current trends and their implications on the future of gender equality.

«I have heard of single mothers asking their children to stay in libraries to do their homework until closing time because at home, it’s too expensive to keep the lights on. I have also heard of older women staying on buses longer to keep warm because they cannot afford their heating bills. This is the reality of energy poverty. And this reality is gendered. It is part of the widening inequalities we see sweeping across the EU.
According to the EU’s Megatrends Hub different types of inequalities in society are persistent and widening – in education, the labour market and health, amongst other areas. And gender and territorial inequalities continue to persist.In fact, widening and diversifying inequalities is one of the 14 megatrends identified by the European Commission’s Competence Centre on Foresight. These megatrends are driving forces which will likely have a significant impact in the future. They are analysed as part of strategic foresight exercises which support future-oriented decision-making.
In 2023, EIGE conducted strategic foresight sessions with its Management Board members and Experts Forum members to bring a meaningful gender dimension to strategic foresight exercises and reflect on the future of gender equality. To understand where people perceive trends and developments affecting gender equality in the EU, we also conducted an open survey and received over 100 responses.
In 2024, EIGE will continue to build its own expertise in strategic foresight, which helps us as an Agency to set our priorities ‘right’ for the future. And with the European elections coming up, it is set to be a significant year to shape the future of Europe. This will allow us to start sharing our initial findings to inform gender equality policies for the next five-year term. From 10-11 December, EIGE’s second Gender Equality Forum takes places in Brussels – a platform which EIGE convenes to allow for necessary and urgent discussions among its stakeholders to inform EU and Member States policies on gender equality for the new EU legislature.
From now till then, we all need to double down on our efforts to invest in policies and initiatives that promote gender equality, such as equal pay, affordable childcare, and flexible working arrangements to counter the trend of widening inequalities. I very much look forward to turning these thoughtful commitments into impactful action.»

See the full Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality session here.


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