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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Gender Inequality

A recent Eurobarometer poll has found that 47% of those interviewed believe that the gender pay gap is best tackled at EU level. However, respondents were almost evenly divided on how best to close the gap.

While the pay gap between women and men doing the same job with the same qualifications is seen as a serious problem by almost seven in ten Europeans (69%), respondents were divided on whether incentives or penalties would be more effective in reducing the gap.

The three possible remedies offered, namely "facilitating access for women and men to any type of employment" (27%), "imposing financial penalties on companies that do not respect gender equality" (26%), or "transparent pay scales in companies" (24%), all scored similar percentages.

When asked at what government level these measures are best taken, 47% of those interviewed said they favoured action at EU level, 38% at national level and 11% at local level.

Unsurprisingly, women saw gender inequalities, and the pay gap in particular, as more of a problem than men did. More than three in four women said that the gender pay gap is a serious problem (76%), compared to 62% of men. More men (35%), than women (21%), said that it was not a serious problem.

When asked about pay trends, 60% of respondents said they thought gender inequalities had decreased over the past ten years, whereas 12% thought that there had been no change.

A recent study by the International Labour Office (ILO) has found that the current financial crisis has led to a significant increase in workplace inequality across Europe. 

The study, 'Work Inequalities in the Crisis: Evidence from Europe' analyses how workplace issues, such as working conditions, wages and incomes, employment and gender equality have been deteriorating across the continent since the start of the crisis.

“The central message of this volume can be summarized in simple terms: not only did work inequalities contribute to generating the economic crisis, but these inequalities have even become worse as a result of it”, says Daniel Vaughan-Whitehead, the ILO’s Special adviser, and editor of the book.“Our general economic system will thus continue to be at risk until we properly address this critical issue.”

Key findings of the study include:

  • Wage differentials between the top and the bottom earners increased in countries like Bulgaria, Hungary and the United Kingdom.
  • Young people are experiencing unemployment rates nearly double those among older workers in the majority of European countries.
  • Despite male workers being initially more affected by the crisis than women, discriminatory practices against female workers have worsened over the past years.
  • Women employed in male-dominated sectors were the first to be dismissed or experienced higher wage cuts than men.

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