The PES Women flagship campaign ‘Equal Pay, it’s about time!’ was launched on 22 June in Sofia, during the 2013 PES Women annual meeting. The campaign raises awareness about the 16.2% gender pay gap that exists at European level and puts forward specific demands to close this gap, in advance of the 2014 European Elections.
Since the beginning of the crisis, we have witnessed an increase of the gender pay gap across Europe; women’s wages have been systematically undermined by conservative policies; and budget cuts have hit programmes and funds that either employ or empower women: public administration, health care sector, education, child care… We must avoid the self-defeating pretext that ‘in times of crisis, there is no place for prioritising gender equality’ and push for more and better jobs for women, ensure women’s access to employment in the growing sectors and encourage female entrepreneurship. For the European socialists, more gender equality, and not less, is the way out of the crisis.
In this context, PES Women calls for:
- a common target to be established in order to reduce the Gender Pay Gap by 2% per year and per Member State for all age groups – monitored by audits at European level
- clear and dissuasive sanctions in the European legislation in case of non-fulfilment of the objectives
- a European Commissioner for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights to be fully engaged on this issue as of 2014.