PERC Youth Committee’s statement for International Women’s Day

There are still significant differences in the level of earnings between women and men, and this problem was further exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis.
A year later, the pandemic made it clear that the work that women do - both paid and unpaid - is crucial to sustaining our society and economy, even in the most unusual circumstances. As union leaders and workers in health and care, cleaning, food retail, and as unpaid caregivers at home, women have been at the center of this crisis.

Despite the provisions of Directive 2006/54 / EC, wage inequality persists, while the pandemic has exposed and clearly demonstrated the historical and cultural underestimation of predominantly women’s jobs, such as health and care.
Strengthening the application of the principle of equal pay through additional measures is particularly important to ensure that progress made in resolving the gender pay gap is not jeopardized.

Occupational, sectoral and vertical segregation and underestimation of predominantly female work are structural issues that significantly contribute to the size of the gender pay gap. These phenomena represent some of the most complex challenges for the full realization of the principle of equal pay.

Underestimation of predominantly women’s work can be solved only if gender-neutral job evaluation systems are applied and based on objective criteria, which enable the comparison of work between sectors, between women and men. To be free of gender bias, job evaluation systems must not disadvantage women, nor overlook or underestimate the characteristics and skills associated with typically “female” jobs, such as those required in nursing professions, compared to the characteristics and skills associated with typically “ male ” jobs, such as physical exertion.

Where work is not of equal value, the difference in pay, which is disproportionate to the difference in the value of work, indicates that the system of job evaluation or classification is not devoid of gender bias.

On International Women’s Day, trade unions, in alliance with women’s rights organisations, feminist, human rights and social justice movements, are calling for a New Social Contract to repair trust and rebuild democracy.

6th PERC Youth Committee