Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in Europe

Tackling the Gender Pay Gap in Europe is a publication by the European Commission that addresses the issue of earning inequality in the labour market, which affects mostly women.

“The gender pay gap is the difference between men’s and women’s pay, based on the average difference in gross hourly earnings of all employees. 
On average, women in the EU earn around 16 % less per hour than men . The gender pay gap varies across Europe. It is below 10 % in Slovenia, Poland, Italy and Luxembourg, but wider than 20 % in the United Kingdom, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Greece, Germany, Austria and Estonia . Although the overall gender pay gap has narrowed in the last decade, in some countries the national gender pay gap has actually been widening (Latvia, Portugal). 
The gender pay gap exists even though women do better at school and university than men. On average, in 2012, 83% of young women reach at least upper secondary school education in the EU, compared to 77.5 % of men. Women also represent 60 % of university graduates in the EU.”

What is the effect of the gender pay gap over a lifetime? 
The impact of the gender pay gap means that women earn less over their lifetimes; this results in lower pensions and a risk of poverty in old age. In 2011, 23 % of women aged 65 and over were at risk of poverty, compared to 17 % of men. 
What are the differences between how women and men work? 
The overall employment rate for women in Europe is 62.4 %, compared to 74.6 % for men aged 20-64. 
Women are the majority of part-time workers in the EU, with 32.6 % of women working part-time against only 9.5 % of men . This has a negative impact on career progression, training opportunities, pension rights and unemployment benefits, all of which affect the gender pay gap.
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