L-R: Aline Muller, CEO of LISER; Taina Bofferding, Luxembourg's Minister of Equality between Women and Men; Credit: MEGA

On Monday 26 September 2022, Luxembourg's Minister of Equality between Women and Men, Taina Bofferding, and the Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research (LISER) signed a new cooperation agreement.

The first part of this collaboration, launched in 2021, analysed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on gender equality. While the pandemic continues to affect living conditions and well-being in Luxembourg, the international crisis due to the conflict in Ukraine has brought a new challenge to the country's economy and social stability.

However, the crisis and its socio-economic implications have also had an impact on gender inequalities, according to Luxembourg's Ministry of Equality between Women and Men. The increase in the price of raw materials and energy has generated a new surge in inflation, which affects the most fragile groups and those who are most exposed to the risk of poverty and material deprivation, often including women.

It is within this context that Minister Bofferding and LISER have signed a new cooperation agreement. This collaboration fits within the framework of a project called INGINCO ("INégalités de Genre INflation et Consommation", i.e. inflation and consumption gender inequalities). This involves, on the one hand, analysing the effects of rising prices on inequalities between women and men. On the other hand, LISER will also analyse the key role of women in the ecological and social transition towards a more egalitarian and sustainable society model.

During the cooperation agreement signing, Minister Bofferding clarified that "the LISER study on COVID-19 has shown that each crisis always has a different impact on women and men. With the war in Ukraine, the European continent continues to find itself in a state of crisis affecting in particular the level of energy prices and raw materials. This poses a new challenge in terms of the consumer behavior of citizens in our country”.

The minister also stressed that the questions to be analysed are of crucial significance: "Does inflation have a different impact on gender? Are there differences between women and men with regard to spending behaviour respectively savings and more sustainable and ecological consumption habits? Who is more willing to change their consumer behaviour in order to contribute to ecological and social change in our society? These issues are of great importance in terms of gender empowerment for the management of major challenges in the future such as climate change".

This project aligns with the activities of "Luxembourg Stratégie" (Luxembourg Strategy), a strategic foresight department of the Ministry of the Economy.

Aline Muller, CEO of LISER, added that "this new project is a continuation of the collaboration between MEGA [the Ministry of Equality between Women and Men] and LISER. The previous collaborative project had made it possible to analyse the differentiated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on citizens, their socio-economic conditions and their attitudes towards the COVID-19 crisis. Through this new study, LISER will analyse the effects of rising prices on inequalities between women and men".

This study is part of wider efforts to collect reliable and gender-disaggregated data in all areas of life in order to complement Luxembourg's equality observatory, serving as a basis for discussions and decisions on future challenges in terms of of equality.

The results of this new collaboration will be presented as part of a final report in 2023.