Gender Pay Gap Narrowing in Europe

The gap is now 16%.

The pay gap between men and women in Europe is narrowing but the difference still amounts to almost 16%, according to new data released August 21.

The average gender pay gap across the 27-nation EU dipped to 15.9% last year from 16.2% in 2006, according to the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. While still substantial, the difference in pay between men and women doing similar jobs has dropped almost every year since it stood at 20.4% in 2001, the report showed.

In the 12 newest, mostly eastern European, member states the gender gap was higher on average at 17.8%. The biggest inequity was recorded in Slovakia with 26.9% while Slovenian women enjoyed the best pay deals last year, trailing just 6.9% behind their male counterparts.

Belgium, Greece, Ireland and Italy also showed gender wage gaps of less than 10% while Cyprus, the Czech republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal had a comparatively wide gap of 20% or more.

Elsewhere in their study, the Dublin-based foundation reported that average real wage increases for European workers fell to 2.3% last year from 2.7% in 2006.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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