Today, 3 November 2016, is (again) European Equal Pay Day!

“This day is the day in the year when women across Europe stop being paid due to the gender pay gap. With the average hourly wage for women in Europe being 16.7 % lower than it is for men, they in effect work 16% of the year for free”, states the European Commission.
"If the average European man stops work today, he still gets paid as much this year as the average European woman who keeps working until 31 December. That is not fair, not sustainable and frankly not acceptable. European employers must stop sending the message that women are worth two pay cheques less than men each year. Men and women in the European Union are equal –that is one of our fundamental values. But on our labour market, even in the year of 2016, this is not yet a reality.”

Today, 3 November 2016, is (again) European Equal Pay Day!


Kirsten Lühmann, CESI´s FEMM Commission´s chairwoman (again) welcomed the EC initiative:  “The European Commission is demonstrating great motivation concerning this issue and it can count on CESI’s unconditional support in its endeavours. However, let us also be honest, the current prognoses are clearly not encouraging. “

According to the latest Global Gender Gap Report 2016 of the world Economic Forum, the worldwide gender pay gap will not be closed for another 170 years, and the economic gender gap 2016 “has reverted back to where it stood in 2008, after a peak in 2013.”

Lühmann deeply deplores these findings: “The 2015 report had predicted 118 years for the worldwide gender gap to close, and now we are at 170 years! Even if economic slowdown has to be taken into account, it means that in too many countries homework has not been done.”

Referring to the to her mind most important conclusions of the Report, according to which the forecasts “reflect the current state of progress and serve as a call to action to policymakers and other stakeholders to accelerate gender equality “, Kirsten Lühmann highlighted everyone´s responsibility:

“CESI is such a stakeholder, and we reiterate our firm intention to make things change. We provide all our expertise relating to the modern working world for the EU equality strategy. As trade unions, we see cases of unequal treatment on a daily basis, so we know that problems are particularly serious for women in the professional world. “

Yet for CESI´s FEMM-Commission chairwoman one thing remains key for any real success:  “If the main responsibility for home and child care remains on women, labour market equality will never work. There we need strong legislative incentives and obligations which may lead to a real change of paradigm in our heads.”