Unemployment and the gender pay gap - hand in hand
Why does it matter that the Equal Pay Day (EPD) is on 28th February this year similarly to 2013? This is the very day when women are given their first pay of the new year compared to men. So technically, women work 58 days for free until they reach the amount earned by men. The organisation of EPD started in 2011; then, it fell on 5th March, next year on 2nd March, and the last two EPDs were on 28th February on a row. As you can see, there has not been any progress in this field for the last two years.
But if we take a closer look at the first two years, we cannot be satisfied either. According to Viviane Reading, the EU’s Justice Commissioner, the slight decrease in 2011 and 2012 was largely the result of the economic crisis. This means men’s wages decreased rather than women’s wages increased. We have a lot to do, and you are going to agree with this when you take a look at the numbers below.
The average difference between women’s and men’s money paid by the hour in the EU is 16,4%. As usual, we can mention “eminent” countries that have mastered the method to solve this problem, such as Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, the Netherlands, and Cyprus. On the other hand, there are countries where the gender pay gap has increased in recent years like Hungary, Portugal, Estonia, Bulgaria, Ireland, or Spain. In Hungary, this rate is currently 20,1% since it increased by 2,6% during the last 4 years.
Why does the effect occur that women earn less money for the same job as men do? A report by the European Commission from last year notes there are several factors. First of all, there is a lack of transparency in pay systems, lack of legal clarity in the definition of the work of equal value, and procedural obstacles. So women can hardly be informed about these kinds of injustices anyway. If women would be able to compare themselves to the members of the opposite sex, they could improve their situation.
Gender equality is one of the founding principles of the EU, but in some societies, this principle is still not in practice. That means the EU has to regulate this field legally until it changes at last. That is why the Commission takes actions like the Equality Pays Off Initiative.
“I can completely understand this, but I do not have any work in first place”- a lot of young people could complain. There are approximately 5 million people in the EU between the age of 15 and 24 without a job. In some countries, youth unemployment can reach even 50%. If you are one of these people, you should check the so-called Youth Guarantee programs. The EU would like to tackle unemployment with programs that aim to help every young person under 24 to find a job after school in 4 months. This is the first problem to solve; after that, we can solve the problem of pay gap between women and men. It is all up to you!