Equal Pay Day-28th February 2013

Fine Gael Press Office Senator Martin Conway Clare

Thursday, February 28th 2013

Gender equality should be centre stage in Ireland’s EU Presidency – Conway

Fine Gael Clare Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Disability, Martin Conway, has said that gender equality should be centre stage during Ireland’s Presidency of the EU. Senator Conway’s made his comments today (Thursday) on European Equal Pay Day.

“Equal Pay Day presents an opportunity, every year, to highlight the unequal pay conditions women still face in the labour market. The EU-wide event marks the extra number of days that women would need to work per year to match the amount earned by men; currently 59 days, meaning this year the day falls on 28th February.

“The principle of equal pay for equal work is one of the founding doctrines of EU and has formed part of EU Treaties since 1957.  However there is still more work to do as the latest figures show that across the EU, the average gender pay gap is 16.2%.

“In Ireland the difference between women and men’s hourly earnings is 13.9%.  While the gap has reduced in recent years, it is still far too big.  We need to become ‘gender blind’ in our approach to employment and we need to help employers in their efforts to tackle the gender pay gap.

“Ireland already has a strong reputation on promoting gender equality, and I believe the EU Presidency provides us with an opportunity to improve our reputation even further.”

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