Ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March, find out how the European Parliament is working to reduce the gender pay gap.
Although gender equality is one of the EU’s founding principles and the equal pay for equal work principle was introduced more than 60 years ago, women in the EU are still paid almost 15% less on average per hour than men.
The European Parliament wants to change that: in a resolution adopted on 30 January, MEPs call on the European Commission to come up with an ambitious gender equality strategy, including measures to tackle the gender pay gap.
The Commission presented its Gender Equality Strategy on 5 March. Equal pay for equal work will be the strategy's cornerstone.
Solutions for equal pay: binding targets and transparency measures
Parliament wants binding provisions on the gender pay gap and pay transparency, applying to the public and private sectors, strong enforcement, clear targets and monitoring to measure progress.
MEPs also want the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan to be revised by the end of 2020 and for it to include clear targets for EU countries to reduce the gap over the next five years.
Addressing root causes of unequal pay
In order to tackle a lack of female participation in the labour market, which is one of the reasons behind the gender pay gap, MEPs are calling for greater investment in early education, care services and more family-friendly working arrangements.
They also want to encourage women into taking up better paid jobs through a series of measures, starting with the promotion of science and technology subjects for girls at school, encouraging female entrepreneurs and the possibility of lifelong learning
Reducing differences in pensions
To tackle the gender pension gap, which is on average two times higher than the gender pay gap in the EU, MEPs suggest measures including the introduction of credits for care and minimum pensions.