Women's wage gap stuck at 23% in Germany

24th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The gap in gross pay between men and women in Germany stood at 23 percent last year, unchanged from 2009, official data showed Thursday, the eve of "wage equality day" in Europe's biggest economy.

Around two-thirds of the difference was because women were often employed in jobs requiring fewer qualifications and responsibilities, the federal statistics office Destatis said as it published the results.

But for the remaining third, it was due to women being paid less than men for the same work, it added.

At a regional level and in eastern Germany the difference in wage levels was higher, at 25 percent.

In early March, with Chancellor Angela Merkel's government resisting calls to impose a quota for women in executive positions, trade union IG Metall slammed the "handicap" of being female in the labour market.

The union said it was hard for women to reconcile their professional and domestic lives owing to insufficient childcare options and because German society did not approve of working mothers.

A meeting is scheduled next week with German officials and representatives from the personnel departments of 30 major German companies to discuss the issue of woman on their management boards.

© 2011 AFP

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