European & International News

28 February 2013 is the third European Equal Pay Day!

[Brussels, 28 February 2013] Today is the third European Equal Pay Day, an annual initiative by the European Commission. This event marks the extra number of days that women would need to work to match the amount earned by men: 59 days in 2013.

A persistent gender pay gap undermining women’s economic independence

In 2010, in the EU, women earned on average 16,4% less than men. The highest gaps are found in Czech Republic and Austria, with an average of 25.5%, and in Estonia, with an average of 27.6%. This persistent pay gap has long term consequences on women’s life: the gender pensions gap is strongly going against women’s economic independence. Indeed, for example, the at-risk-of-poverty rate after social transfers for older people (women and men aged 65 years and over) is of 18.1% for women and 12.9% for men [1].

On the occasion of the second European Equal Pay Day, the European Women’s Lobby stressed that the slow progress towards equal pay in Europe has the life-long consequences for women and girls today. The principle of equal pay is written in European treaties since 1957 and its persistence is unbearable for women and girls.

Every year, women in Europe work 59 days ‘for free’

The European Equal Pay Day is an initiative by the European Commission aiming at highlighting good practices by companies in Europe. This third edition stresses the fact that the gender pay gap represents 59 free working days for women.

Among those examples, the German firm Axel Springer AG launched an initiative called "Chance:gleich!" (Opportunities:Equal!) in 2010 aiming at increasing the numbers of female managers to 30% of the company’s management within 5-8 years.

On the occasion of this third European Equal Pay Day, a new brochure "Tackling the gender pay gap in the European Union" has been released to explain the roots and the causes of this structural inequality.

Close the gender pay gap - YouTube

Read European Commission’s press release here.

European Commission’s website on gender pay gap.

A Business Forum will be organized the 21 March 2013. More information here.

Read European Women’s Lobby’s manifesto on women’s Socio Economic Rights and Gender Equality from a life-cycle perspective.

[1Statistics: Progress of equality between women and men in 2011 - European Commission

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