A yawning gap
Mar 4th 2009
The gap between pay for men and women in Europe
DESPITE the best efforts of lawmakers and feminists, there is a long way to go to close the pay gap between the sexes. In the European Union, which set out its principle of equal pay for equal work 50 years ago, gross hourly wages for men were 17.4% higher than for women in 2007, according to a new report. Countries with the biggest differentials, such as Estonia, have highly segregated labour markets or a high proportion of women working part-time, such as Germany, Britain and the Netherlands. Where the female employment rate is low there is usually a smaller gap, because of the small proportion of low-skilled or unskilled women in the workforce.