The gender pay gap is closing so slowly in France (0.1% since 2010) that it is on course to take over a thousand years to achieve equality. Within this decade, the pay gap would end in only three countries.
Overall, it will take another 84 years for women to achieve equal pay if current trends continue, according to recent Eurostat data.
A new report by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) raised alarm at the widening pay gap in nine member states, and the increasing time it will take to tackle this gap.
On the basis of this current trend, the data predicts women in German and Czechia will be waiting until 2121 for equal pay. Women in a further nine countries will have to wait until the second half of this century. Meanwhile, the gap in Ireland is still rising.
The news comes as the European Commission commitment to end the disparity was further delayed. The Commission delayed publication of its pay transparency directive from 4th November (Equal Pay Day) until 15th December, and cast the entire initiative into doubt by marking it as “TBC” (to be confirmed).
There was also no mention in the State of the Union address of the binding pay transparency measures that President von der Leyen promised to deliver within 100 days of her mandate.
ETUC has written to President von der Leyen to seek clarity as to the reason for the delay, and assurances that the directive will go ahead in spite of pressure not to act. The ETUC also called on the Commission President to prioritise pay transparency measures that will be needed to make real progress towards equality, and offered the full support of trade unions in standing up for women.
ETUC deputy general secretary, Esther Lynch said that pay justice was urgently needed for women who worked on the frontline during the Covid-19 crisis in systematically undervalued caring and cleaning jobs.
“Ursula von der Leyen raised hopes of real change with her promise of binding pay transparency measures within 100 days, but this seems to be slipping off the agenda under pressure from those with anti-women and anti-equality sentiments, as well as the deep-seated bias that women so often face when they seek pay equality,” Ms. Lynch said.
You can find the full findings of the ETUC report including each country’s individual performance on the pay gap issue here.
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