Balancing out men and women’s salaries through stronger sanctions and regular monitoring will be the aim of a new European Commission strategy proposal for the 27 EU states later this year, Brussels has said.
There is still an 18 percent pay gap, which has not moved much in 15 years and has grown in some countries. Italy shows the least difference in average gross hourly earnings, around five percent, and Estonia the most, 30 percent. The gap in the UK is about 20 percent. Eight out of ten Europeans polled called for urgent correction.
Lifetime earnings decide pensions, too. According to Commission findings, women are more affected by persistent and extreme poverty than men after they pass retirement age as well.
Labour expert Gitta Vanpeborgh with the ABVV-FGTB Union said: “Women work in sectors that pay less. They work part time more. This can’t be ignored. Then there’s managing life between the home and workplace, and the glass ceiling that stops women from getting to the top posts in companies.”
Younger Europeans face the statistical probability that finding all sorts of work will be more difficult for them than their forebears.
Brussels is working on a five-year plan to address today’s challenges and ensure a playing field as level as possible, stressing respect for gender equality.