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Better work-life balance, awareness and fighting inequality in employment and pay gaps are important measures to end and prevent gender pension gaps, said members of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee in a text adopted on Wednesday.

Committee MEPs call on the Commission and Member States to strike a better balance between working and private lives for women and men including investments in childcare facilities and flexible working hours to combat inequality in career opportunities.


They also recommend tackling horizontal and vertical segregation on the labour market by raising awareness among decision-makers within the area and encourage girls and women to take up careers in sectors dominated mainly by men as well as provide them with information on the gap’s implications for them.


“It’s the first time ever that the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee works so extensively on the Gender Pension Gap issue and tables propositions and action plans in order to eradicate it and to prevent it from happening again. The demographic evolution that has affected Europe in recent years, as well as the situation of economic vulnerability touching many of our fellow women citizens, make it urgent for us all to mobilize in order to eradicate this unacceptable inequality and to have it tackled at the highest level,” said rapporteur Constance Le Grip (EPP, FR).


Corrective measures in pension systems to aid vulnerable groups such as single-mothers, which represents 10% of all households with dependent children, should be introduced, MEPs stated. 


A “multi-faceted” approach, which addresses the disparities between men and women in terms of their careers and abilities to make pension contributions, as well as those resulting from the way in which pension systems are organised, is required to succeed with the strategy, MEPs noted. 


The Commission and Member States should work together with Eurostat and the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) to develop indicators of gender pension gaps and to identify factors behind it to fight underlying causes and prevent future gaps. 


The report was adopted by 17 votes to five with 13 abstention.