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More women at work, still with less pay - European Foundation

13 January 2003, 11:55 CET

Women have benefited from the majority of the new jobs created over the period 1997-2001, increasing the employment rate for women from 50.6% to 54.9%, according to the European Commission. This growth has made the ambitious Lisbon European Council goal of 60% female employment rate by 2010 appear achievable. Women have also made important in-roads into the higher status professional and managerial positions. Despite these advances, women continue to be paid less for doing the same or similar work as men.

'Despite an increasing rate of employment for women over the past decade, gender participation and pay gaps remain a persistent feature of the European labour market,' says Raymond-Pierre Bodin, Director of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions in Dublin.

'Women are still under-represented in some jobs and over-represented in others relative to their percentage share of total employment. Gender differences are most evident in the "second shift" of household work.'

The third Foundation paper, Quality of Women's Work and Employment: Tools for Change, offers an analysis of the quality of women labour market participation in the EU. Based largely on existing Foundation research, the Foundation paper examines the progress made towards a better quality of working life for women and describes some tools and strategies which may serve to tackle persistent difficulties in this area.

The European Foundation is a tripartite EU body, whose role is to provide key actors in social policy making with findings, knowledge and advice drawn from comparative research. The Foundation was established by Council Regulation EEC No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975.

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