RECON Online Working Paper 2008/18

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Gender Justice in the European Union

The Normative Subtext of Methodological Choices


Cathrine Holst (ARENA, University of Oslo)




The efforts of the EU to facilitate gender justice, have been substantial historically, and are ongoing. An EU gender justice index is to be launched in the near future, adding to other efforts. The index is to be based on recommendations in the Commission funded report towards an EU gender equality index. The paper is a critical discussion of the normative assumptions of this report. It is argued that a full citizenship index should focus on justice, not on productivity; on individual opportunities, not on group-level outcomes; and on equality, but also on liberty and democracy. Two general recommendations are given for index-making. (i) Indicators should be chosen with an eye to the free choice problem. (ii) A justice index should be composed of independent, not dependent, variables.




Democracy European citizenship  European Commission  Gender policy


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