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Posted by on in Sex Discrimination
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Europe calls for greater action on gender pay gap

The European Parliament has called on the European Commission to take more action to close the gender pay gap.

On average, women across the EU earn 16.4% less than men. Progress in closing the gender pay gap is extremely slow, and in some member states it has even widened, notes the text.

The causes are complex and often interrelated. They include discrimination, highly segregated labour markets, an undervaluing of "women's" work, tradition and stereotyping, not least in the choice of educational paths, says the text.

In view of the lack of progress to date, MEPs urged the European Commission and member states to reinforce existing legislation with appropriate types of effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions for employers in breach of it. These sanctions should include penalties, administrative fines and disqualification from public benefits and subsidies, say MEPs.

Penalties that were designed to be dissuasive were included in an EU directive on equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women which came into force in 2008, but legal experts believe that no radical changes have been made in national laws, and no sanctions have been imposed on employers, says the resolution.

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