European Commission Update – Equal Pay

November 3rd is European Equal Pay Day. This November, the European Commission are marking the event by presenting an action plan to tackle the gender pay gap. This will take a two-pronged approach, both following through on current actions and presenting new measures.

The 3rd of November is symbolic as it marks the moment when women effectively stop getting paid compared to their male colleagues, with almost two months of the year remaining.  In modern Europe, the average hourly pay of women is 16.3% lower than that of men. This has far-reaching and nuanced effects and causes: women still tend to work in lesser-paid sectors, get fewer promotions and are underrepresented in management positions. What’s more, single-parent households with women as the sole breadwinner are more exposed to poverty, including child poverty and consequent disadvantages.

November also sees a Colloquium on ‘Women’s Rights in Turbulent Times’ and will dedicate part of the programme to finding new solutions to tackle the gender pay gap. Around that same time, the European Pillar of Social Rights will be proclaimed on the highest level, reaffirming that women and men have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

The issue of equal pay was also asserted as a priority by the European Parliament during the 6th session of the EuroNest Parliamentary Assembly in Kyiv (Ukraine). MEPs and their counterparts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine debated the preparations for November’s Eastern Partnership Summit and adopted a set of resolutions.

Among these, there was encouragement of the relatively high level of women’s integration in Eastern Partnership countries’ labour markets, but regret that the gender pay gap remains high and can be as much as 50%. To remedy the situation, they advocate the promotion of equal economic independence, equal pay for equal work, equality in decision-making and ensuring a work-life balance.

Find out more about the Colloqium HERE.