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Gender Pay Gap: discrimination against women unacceptable. Edit Bauer MEP


24 May 2012


Social Europe & Jobs

 Today, the European Parliament's plenary adopted the Bauer Report on Gender Pay Gap by an overwhelming majority. This legislative initiative Report calls on the Commission to revise the so-called Recast Directive 2006/54/EC and amend it so that it can adequately address this long-lasting and unjust discrimination against women.

There has only been slow progress in closing the gender pay gap - it is currently 16.4%, varying between 4.4% and 25.5% in the Member States, while on the other side there is an almost 40 year-old legislation in force, which is obviously not efficient.

As Edit Bauer stressed, the gender pay gap is a complex and multifaceted issue, causes are also multiple, like social and economic factors, such as occupational and sectoral segregation in the labour market, undervaluing women's work, the imbalance of work and private life, traditions and stereotypes, such as the choice of educational path and employment patterns, just to mention a few. Half of the differences are not explained, they are considered as a difference caused by direct and indirect discrimination. What's more, statistics show that the gender pay gap occurs after a return to the labour market after the birth of the first child and is growing with age because of career breaks but also - what is striking - with education-level. For this reason, the answer has to be holistic and multi-level too. It has to combine legislative and non-legislative measures. Both of them are essential.

"We are aware that legislation itself is not enough to tackle the issue but experience shows that even legislation can be improved and better enforced", said Mrs Bauer.

The aim of this Report was to identify those areas of legislation where improvement can be made. Since the Commission has an obligation under Article 32 of the Recast Directive to review the Directive and if appropriate, propose amendments by 15 February 2013, the adopted Report calls on the Commission to address the unjust discrimination against women and make the legislation on diminishing the gender pay gap more effective while improvements are requested in selected areas, including definitions, work evaluation and job classification, equality bodies and legal remedy, social dialogue and sanctions. Only a holistic and multi-level approach can improve the situation and shrink the long-lasting gender pay gap.

For further information:

Edit BAUER MEP, Tel: +33-3-88-175673

Atilla Agárdi, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-475-750272

Notes to Editors:

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 271 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.


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