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Equal pay day - Belated Commission launch undermines a positive initiative


04 Mar 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

The European Commission today announced the launch of the first ever European Equal Pay Day, to take place on 5 March. The Greens support the initiative but have called on the Commission to do much more. MEPs are organising a cross-political action in the EP to use the new European Parliament right of initiative to this end, with a press launch on Women's Day next week (Tuesday, 8 March)*. Responding to the Commission announcement, Green MEP and member of the EP women's rights committee Franziska Brantner said:


"The first European Equal Pay Day, due to take place tomorrow, was just announced today! At least Commissioner Reding noticed before the day was over but this belated launch means it will be impossible to organise EU-wide actions to draw attention to the persistent pay gap (1).


"It is seriously regrettable that the Commission continues to shy away from EU action to redress the pay gap in Europe. There is an urgent need for legislative measures at EU level to end pay inequality and we urge Commissioner Reding to come forward with measures as soon as possible."


* The cross-political group action on equal pay will take place on 8 March at 11.30 in front of the EP hemicycle in Strasbourg (Helix stairs). Young female MEPs from different political groups will launch the "Equal Pay NOW" initiative, including a photo opportunity.


(1) Women are paid 17.5% less than men on average in the EU.
Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042 -