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EU - Economy: Gender Pay Gap In Europe - by Alexandra Scheele

Though the two principles “equal pay for equal work” and “equal pay for work of equal value” have been legally fixed with the European Treaty of Rome 1957 as well as with the subsequent Equal Pay Directive 1975, the EU still shows – latest data from 2015 – an average (unadjusted) gender pay gap of 16.3%.

That means that the average gross hourly earnings of female employees are 16.3 % below those of men.

Research gives evidence that the gender pay gap is caused by several interrelated factors: (1) labour market segregation by gender and the corresponding unequal distribution of women and men in sectors, occupations, and positions (horizontal and vertical segregation); (2) the fact that women (more often than men) take career breaks and/or work part-time due to care responsibilities, which has negative effects on their service length (seniority); (3) the fact that so-called ‘women’s jobs and sectors’ are often lower-paid jobs and sectors owing to existing collective agreements; (4) opaque and unsystematic wage-setting processes and individual pay agreements that are often less advantageous for women.

These factors show that closing the gender pay gap is still a challenge.
Read more: Gender Pay Gap In Europe

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