Application of the principle of equal pay for men and women
I would like to congratulate Ms Bauer for her hard work in contributing vital recommendations to the European Commission on the application of the equal pay principle. The pay gap has a major impact on the status of women in economic and social life and constitutes an obstacle to equal economic independence.
There are several areas where women are affected by the gap in pay based solely on gender in Europe. Women encounter differences in their hourly pay in new and old Member States alike. Differences can be seen in the income distribution between men and women: 20 percent of women, compared to 40 percent of men in Europe, receive a similar income distribution in the top-range of salaries. Another glaring pay inequality lies in sectoral gender segregation, as half of jobs in three sectors are male dominated.
Finally, the over-representation of women – 30 percent – in part-time positions affects labour market contributions. These figures are even worse when it comes to women with certain ethnic origins, such as the Roma. While the EU’s legal framework regarding equal pay is very extensive, in the European Union women are still paid less then men – even those with similar skills and education – which proves that improving legislation by strengthening its effectiveness is the main goal to achieve.