[European Commission, Brussels, 02 March 2012] Women across the EU continue to earn an average of 16.4% less than men, according to new figures released by the European Commission on European Equal Pay Day.
This is the second Equal Pay Day at European level following its launch by the European Commission on 5 March 2011. The EU-wide event marks the extra number of days that women must work to match the amount of money earned by men. The European Commission wants to raise awareness about this gender pay gap across the EU. This year’s Equal Pay Day focuses in particular on employers and comes ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March.
The latest figures show an average 16.4% gender pay gap in 2010 across the European Union. They confirm a slight downward trend in recent years, when the figure was around 17% or higher. The rate ranges from around 2% in Poland to more than 27% in Estonia.
The gender pay gap – the average difference in gross hourly earnings between women and men across the economy as a whole – is persistently high, with considerable differences between countries and sectors. It reflects the problem of balancing work and private life: many women take parental leave and have part-time jobs. Despite the generally slightly positive trend, there are Member States where the gender pay gap is widening, such as Bulgaria, France, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal and Romania.
On the occasion of the EEPD, European Commission has produced a video clip that raises the awareness on the absurdity of the pay inequalities between women and men.