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 Full text 
Monday, 13 January 2020 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Gender pay gap (debate)

  Dace Melbārde (ECR). – Mr President, it is deplorable not only that women in the EU earn nearly a fifth less than men, but also that the pay gap has increased by only one per cent over the last seven years. Whilst women in the EU are more highly educated than men, it is the latter that hold most of the senior positions in companies.

Among other things, we need more gender balance in professions. Even in Western society, the share of women among STEM graduates is about twice as low as compared to countries such as Tunisia and the UAE. We need more women in IT, but we also need more men as teachers and culture workers, such as museum curators or librarians, which are mostly less well—paid occupations.

Meanwhile, better general work-life balance can help in persuading more women to choose jobs that currently require long hours. When discussing the upcoming wave of automation, we as policymakers should keep in mind that female-dominated professions, such as secretaries, are as vulnerable to elimination as male—dominated industrial jobs.

We must acknowledge that the gender pay gap is a multifaceted issue. And only by working together and approaching this issue holistically will we move towards solving this injustice.

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