Portugal among countries failing in equal pay for men and women

in News · 03-07-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal is one of 14 European countries that violate the right to equal pay and job opportunities between men and women, according to the European Committee on Social Rights.

The assessment of this body is based on the European Social Charter and places Portugal among countries that do not comply with the
adopted provisions, alongside Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway and Slovenia.

Only Sweden was considered compatible with the Charter, as part of the evaluation of a complaint filed in 2016 by the international organisation University Women of Europe.

“The gender pay gap is unacceptable in modern societies, but it remains one of the main obstacles to achieving real equality”, reads the document, which calls on European governments to intensify efforts “urgently” to ensure equal opportunities in the workplace.

“More countries should use the Council of Europe’s Social Charter as a means of achieving that goal,” according to Marija PejinoviBuri, general secretary of the Council of Europe.

The committee found that all 15 countries involved in the collective complaint procedure have “satisfactory legislation” that recognises the right to equal pay for equal work, but has recorded “several violations” (except in Sweden), mainly due to insufficient progress in reducing wage disparities between men and women, but in some cases also due to the lack of wage transparency in the labour market, ineffective legal resources and insufficient powers and resources of national gender equality bodies.

“Despite quota agreements and other measures, women also remain underrepresented in decision-making positions in private companies,” according to the assessment.

Although the gender pay gap has narrowed in some countries, progress is still considered insufficient.

The Charter establishes that the right to equal pay must be guaranteed by law. Subscribing states must guarantee access to effective measures for victims of wage discrimination.

Measures to promote equal opportunities for women and men in the labour market must include “the promotion of effective parity in the representation of women and men in decision-making positions in the public and private sectors”.

The proportion of women on the boards of the largest publicly traded companies in countries with binding legislative measures “has increased from an average of 9.8 percent in 2010 to 37.5 percent in 2018”, according to data presented by the European Committee Social Rights.


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