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Gender Equality at Work

The introduction of a government approved 12 hour work day in 2019 presented challenges for working mothers, as most childcare centres close at 16:00 [1]. This 12 hour workday only exacerbates the working womens burden, as 25 hours of the work they do in a week is unpaid, compared to 16 hours of unpaid work for men. Despite the fact that women on average work 65 hours per week compared to 63 hours by men, the gender wage gap stands at 19.9% of the gross hourly wage [2]. 56% of women over the age of 15 are working, spending 17.4% of their time on unpaid domestic work compared to 9.8% for men [3]. Whilst these gender imbalances still stand in the workplace, there is a strong female voice in business. In 2017, 46.4% of the members of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber were female, and in 2018 the share of women on supervisory boards was 18.5%, with 33.2% of women making up management roles [4]. Furthermore, women manage over 176,000 businesses in Austria, there are over 114,000 female entrepreneurs, and 130,000 women are self employed [5]. Women also make up 30% of the decision making roles in the media sector [6].

Political representation

As of 2020, the cabinet has 9 female members compared to 8 men [7]. This would suggest that the gender distribution in Austrian politics is quite balanced, however this is not the case. In 2021, 39.9% of seats in parliament were held by women. 91% of mayors are men, with women only making up 19% of deputy mayors [8]. ¾ of seats in local councils are held by men, with 76% of the seats in the Vienna municipal council also being held by men. Furthermore, in 40 Austrian municipalities, there is not a single women representative. Whilst 48% of the seats in the Vienna district council are held by women, the smaller municipality in Tyrol holds only 20% of female seats.

Gender-Based Violence

The killing of women is on the rise, with a doubling in femicide between 2014 and 2018 [9]. 72% of murder victims in 2020 were female [10]. Despite this, violence against women appears to be low- 3% of women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence in the past 12 months [11].


Universities are committed to helping with gender inequality, all have a plan in place for how they will advance the rights and opportunities for women at their university and how they will attract more women [12]. As of 2015, 53% of all university students were female [13]. The number of girls to boys not attending school is equal, at 0.1% [14].


The maternal mortality rate in Austrian women is low, with 5 deaths for every 100,000 births [15]. Abortions are not covered by public health insurance and cost between 500 and 600 euros, making it hard to get the procedure for the 18.3% of women living in poverty [16]. Only 10% of mothers are exclusively breastfeeding past 6 months [17].

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