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Women in Europe still work "free of charge" for two months a year, in the Czech Republic it is even longer

[Press release of our members from our members in the Czech Republic Genderové informační centrum NORA, 3 November 2017] The European Equal Pay Day (EU Equal Pay Day) falls on November 3 this year. This day symbolically marks the period till the end of the calendar year when women in the European Union work without remuneration. The average European woman still receives a 16.3 % lower pay compared to her male counterpart. The rate of pay inequality in the Czech Republic is even higher reaching 22.5 % and in fact it is the second highest in the EU. An average Czech woman loses 80,976 crowns a year as a result of pay inequality.

"I find not only problematic pay inequality as such, but also its consequences. Lower earnings for women, for example, also mean lower pensions by 18 % and a higher risk of poverty not only in the old age (14.4 %) but throughout all the life. This does not have an impact only on women themselves, but also on their potential descendants, especially if women are single mothers. Even if they are not single mothers, a family or partner budget loses, "says Lukáš Slavík, sociologist of the Gender Information Center NORA.

Pay inequality does not only lead to material and economic inequality and deprivation, but it also results in power inequality which, according to studies, may be related to violence against women.

An increased attention has been paid to gender pay gap in the Czech Republic. Non-profit organizations such as Genderové informační centrum NORA or Otevřená společnost are active in this regard. Genderové informační centrum NORA led an awareness raising campaign in 2015-2016 at all regional cities of the Czech Republic.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the Czech Republic recognized the importance of addressing inequalities in pay between men and women and therefore launched an ambitious project called "22% TO EQUALITY" in 2016.

"One of possible tools for reducing inequality is undoubtedly transparent pay," says Kateřina Hodická, director of Genderové informační centrum NORA. "In 2014, the European Commission recommended to its member states to reinforce the principle of equal pay for women and men through transparency. In this context, the decision of the Constitutional Court taken on November 1, 2017 on making pay of civil servants public appears to be a step backwards. The decision came as s surprise to me. In its opinion, the Constitutional Court denied an earlier decision of the Supreme Administrative Court. I have no doubt that the ruling of the Constitutional Court will have a negative impact on pay equality in the Czech Republic, "concludes Hodická.

Pay inequality is a complex problem to which many factors contribute, such as different life and career paths of men and women. Men tend to occupy better paid and decision making positions while women´s job positions are associated with care, education and services and are not typically decision- making. We find only 25 % of women among managers in the Czech Republic. In addition, "women’s jobs" are often perceived as less prestigious by the society and employers. Women occupy less prestigious jobs despite the fact that they are generally better educated than men as the data of the Czech Statistical Office shows.

Another factor rests in an unequal distribution of care where women predominantly care about their offspring, other close relatives or households. In a situation where women are interested in combining employment and care, their possibilities are still very limited in the Czech Republic. Although women spend on family and household care almost 22 hours per week on average, the vast majority of them works on a full-time basis. On average women work only three hours per week less than men which cannot explain an overall level of pay inequality.

Genderové informační centrum NORA is a non-governmental non-profit organization whose mission is to promote gender equality in Czech society. Its main aim is to improve the position of women. They are a member organisation of the Czech Women’s Lobby.

For more information contact, please:

Mgr. et Mgr. Kateřina Hodická
Director, Genderové informační centrum NORA

Bc. Lukáš Slavík
Sociologist, junior consultant, Genderové informační centrum NORA

Image via on equal pay day.

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