European Equal Pay Day: Women earn 16% less than Men in the EU


On the 2 November 2015 the European Equal Pay Day took place to raise attention to the gender pay gap and its causes. The gender pay gap across the EU is 16, 3% and shows the difference of the average gross hourly wage between men and women. This means that women work nearly two month for free every year.

Věra Jourová, the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, declared in her statement “equality between men and women is one of the fundamental values of the European Union, but this day reminds us that it is not one of its fundamental realities." In order to highlight the topic an animated infographic has been launched, which gives an overview of the topic and eliminates widely spread prejudice. It explains for example that women earn less than men per hour in highly skilled professions as well as in lower payed jobs – they do not earn less because they choose low income professions.

The European Commission has published the analysis of the public consultation on equality between men and women. Generally speaking the results of the analysis reflect the input ETUCE and its member organisation provided. Based on the results, priority areas to be tackled are the gender pay gap, small number of women in positions of power, preconceived ideas about the image and role of women and men, gender-based violence, violation of women's rights worldwide and unequal sharing of caring and household tasks.

Regarding women in the labour market, especially the difficulty to combine paid work, household and care activities is accentuated and needs to be addressed. Furthermore there is a need to stronger emphasise the gender perspective in education sector policies. It is noteworthy that although only 11, 3 % of the respondents were social partner organisations, 36, 8% of the participating organisations confirmed that social partners hold the second most important role in reaching equality between women and men after governments of member states,.

To see the analysis of the public consultation on equality between men and women, please click here.