Women's Journal

Equal Pay Day: Women in the EU still earn 13% less than men

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Overview of the Gender Pay Gap in the EU

In the European Union, women persistently earn less than their male counterparts. The average gender pay gap in the EU is currently at 13%. This disparity translates to women earning approximately €0.87 for every €1 earned by a man. Equal Pay Day, observed this year on 15 November, symbolizes the additional days women must work to match the annual earnings of men. This day serves as a reminder of the ongoing efforts needed to bridge this pay gap.

Věra Jourová, Vice-President for Values and Transparency, and Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, highlighted that the principle of equal pay for the same work or work of equal value is a foundational aspect of the EU, established nearly 70 years ago. Despite this, the goal remains unfulfilled. They noted that the progress in closing the gender pay gap has been slow this year, indicating that gender stereotypes still significantly impact both women and men in various life aspects. They emphasized that no company should have a pay disparity when the skills, effort, responsibilities, and working conditions of female employees are comparable to those of their male colleagues.

The European Commission has taken significant steps towards promoting gender equality in the EU through the Gender Equality Strategy. Key initiatives include new legislation on work-life balance and gender balance in corporate boards, and the Pay Transparency Directive, which empowers workers to enforce their right to equal pay and enhances access to justice for victims of pay discrimination. Additionally, the Commission has initiated a campaign to challenge gender stereotypes, focusing on career choices, caregiving, and decision-making roles.

Gender equality remains a top priority for the Commission, as evidenced by various measures and campaigns aimed at addressing and reducing the gender pay gap. For more detailed information, resources such as the Equal Pay Day statement, factsheets, EU legislation, and studies on the gender pay gap are available for reference.