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Ireland needs to do more to eliminate the gender pay gap - Lynn Boylan MEP

28 February, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Fein MEP Lynn Boylan has used this year’s European Equal Pay Day to call for the Irish Government and the EU to do more to eliminate the gender pay gap.

MEP Boylan said: 

“Today (March 1st) to mark European Equal Pay Day the European Parliament is having  Council and Commission statements on the Gender Pay Gap. While it is important to constantly battle against pay inequality every day, it is particularly important today to raise awareness that in Ireland and in the EU women still need to work longer than men to earn the same.

“Women play a vital role in Ireland and Europe’s employment and economic growth and their skills and talent are necessary for the economic and social development of our communities and societies. However, oftentimes this is not always reflected in women’s pay and position in the labour market. 

“Despite the EU’s 2006 Directive on equality between men and women in the labour market, differences in their pay persist and are even growing. Ireland is one of those countries where the gender pay gap has increased in the last number of years. According to new figures that gap has increased by 6.5% between 2012 and 2015 leaving the gender pay gap in Ireland at an astonishing 14.8%. 

“Although women have as good or better qualifications than men, often their skills are not valued the same as men's and their career progression is slower. This results in an average gender pay gap during their working life and thereafter a gender pension gap in their retirement.

“Gender pay gap and pension gaps are a follow on from a gender employment gap, the total economic cost of which was estimated to have been around €370 billion in 2013, corresponding to 2.8% of the EU’s GDP. 

“The undervaluing of women's work and the under-utilisation of women's skills is a lost resource for the economy and for society at large. More needs to be done to tighten the gap and bring about equilibrium thus creating a more equal, cohesive, and productive society."

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