BRUSSELS -- Women in Europe still work 59 days “for free”, however the gap between men women in Cyprus has decreased by 3.3% according to the latest figures released by the European Commission on Friday
The study was conducted within the framework of the European Equal Pay Day and has shown that the gender pay gap – the average difference between women and men’s hourly earnings across the entire economy – has barely moved in recent years and still stands at 16.4% in the EU (as the year before).
However, Greece (15%) and Cyprus (16.2%) both performed better than the EU’s average, noting a decrease.
In Cyprus the gender pay gap has decreased from 19.5% in 2008 to 16.2%, noting a decrease by 3.3% in the period 2008/2012, while in Greece it has decreased to 15% from 22% ion 2008.
The EU Commission said that figures in the EU show stagnation after a slight downward trend in recent years, with the figure around 17% or higher in previous years.
“A continuous decreasing trend can be found in Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, the Netherlands and Cyprus, where other countries (Poland, Lithuania) have reversed their decreasing trend in 2012,” said the Commission.
“In some countries like Hungary, Portugal, Estonia, Bulgaria, Ireland and Spain, the gender pay gap has increased in recent years,” it added.
The declining trend in the pay gap can be explained by several factors, such as a rising share of higher educated female workers or the greater impact of the economic downturn on some male-dominated sectors, such as construction or engineering.
The change is therefore not solely due to improvements in pay and working conditions for women.