Belgian women taking home 20% less than their male co-workers

Today is Unequal Pay Day.  It is the day that the women’s movement calls for extra attention for the pay gap between man and woman. EU figures show that on average women earn 16% less than their male colleagues.  This, they claim, means that from 4 November until the end of the year women are working without being paid!

To mark this date many Belgian women will activate automatic mail replies today stating that they are not available until the end of the year.

Belgium performs worse than its European peers!  The EU average for the pay gap is 16%.  In Belgium the figure is a whopping 20%.

Experts say that Belgium performs well when it comes to equal pay per hour of work.  The discrepancy appears when you look at monthly and annual wages. Women are often employed in the care sector where pay is lower. Many women also hit a glass ceiling preventing them from moving on to better-paid executive jobs.

The main reason why women are paid less than their male peers is the fact that more women work part-time.  44% of all women work part-time compared to only 11% of men. Women are more likely to take time off to care for children and elderly relatives too.