Friday, November 4, 9:10 a.m. A date and a time that symbolize in France the wage gap between men and women, and the discrimination still too present in the world of work. Although these inequalities have been on the decline for several decades, many obstacles persist in effectively reducing these wage gaps.
Only one day difference compared to last year… From this Friday morning, at 9:10 am and 55 seconds, the women started working for free until the end of the year. According to the calculation made by the feminist newsletter Les Glorieuses with the latest Eurostat data, women earn on average 15.8% less than men in 2020, full-time and all jobs combined. In the European Union as a whole, this figure averages 13%, almost three points less than in France.
” This is one of the indicators of inequality that most shocks French society today, so this is good news. But despite this gradual awareness, the figures show that the public policies carried out, whether at school, in terms of communication campaigns and in terms of salaries, remain far below what should be done. “says Anne Brunner, director of studies at the Observatory of Inequalities.
When we look at Eurostat figureswe see that these wage inequalities have been maintained for years in the country: a difference of 15.4% in 2004, 15.6% in 2015, and even 16.7% in 2018.
The World Economic Forum specifies that it will take 132 years to reach full parity in the world 💀
📆 This #4November9:10 a.m.women in France work for free until the end of the year.
📝 How to act? Sign our petition: https://t.co/eXdD2bdb1w pic.twitter.com/K1WWsB3DYo
— Les Glorieuses, the feminist newsletter (@Les_Glorieuses) November 3, 2022
Wage inequality, a downward trend but slowing down
From a historical point of view, the pay gap between men and women has narrowed considerably since 1960, as evidenced by graphics of the Observatory of Inequalities and INSEE data. However, for twenty years, we observe a slowdown in this decline which proves that there is still great difficulty in reducing the wage gap says Anne Brunner.
This stagnant gap is partly explained by the fact that today women have reached the same level of diploma as men, which was not yet the case at the beginning of the 1970s. The arrival of French women in the higher education has helped to reduce wage differences more quickly. And at present, women have even surpassed men in terms of level of education, since 53% of 24 and 35 year olds are graduates of higher education in 2020, compared to 46% of men, according to INSEE.
However, the organizations dedicated to calculating these inequalities point to several factors to explain these disparities: the differences in positions and sectors occupied by women and men, the differences in working hours, and the gender stereotypes that persist. Since, according to Anne Brunner, we ” continues to consider that taking care of the household, the education of the children, or the care of the sick is natural for a woman, so that there is no particular effort to be made to remunerate more “.
► To read also: Inequalities between men and women: until when?
Women overrepresented in more precarious occupations
Indeed, women remain massively present in less well-paid occupations. Sectors which, in addition, defend themselves less well, are less unionized, and less well represented in public debate “, supports the director of studies of the Observatory of inequalities.
As a result, Les Glorieuses launched a petition on Friday which proposes three avenues of public policy to close this wage gap. First, raise the wages of predominantly female jobs, namely the education, home help, care and health sectors, because ” 90.4% of nurses, 87.7% of midwives and 65.7% of teaching staff are women, as the Feminist Newsletter states.
Part-time, double jeopardy for women
Three quarters of part-time employees are women. As Anne Brunner analyzes, French women nevertheless represent 72% of part-time employees who have not decided, and who would like to work more. For women in this situation, the observed income gap is even more aggravated. ” They face enormous constraints in their private lives. These women are subject to the conditions that the labor market imposes on them, in jobs where they are very poorly paid. In our society, hard physical work remains much less valued than intellectual work. »
For this reason, increasing the minimum wage, affected by many part-time women, is one of the immediate levers that could be triggered to reduce these inequalities, according to the Observatory of Inequalities.
In the long term, Anne Brunner also advocates continuing the fight against gender stereotypes and thinking about how students choose their professions, wondering why so few women choose engineering careers, when that a majority is found in the care sector.
Need more financial investment from the state
This is why the state has a crucial role in closing this gender gap. Thus, the second avenue of public policy recommended by Les Glorieuses is to apply the principle of “equal conditionality”, that is to say not to provide any financial assistance to a company that does not comply with the law on equal pay, so no access to public procurement or obtaining public subsidies. ” This first measure, which costs the State nothing more, makes it possible to ensure that the budget allocated by public funds does not accentuate inequalities. “, underlines the newsletter.
An ambitious and correctly allocated budget for sectors where women remain overrepresented is what many feminist associations are waiting for in order to work effectively against inequalities. ” The State is the employer of a large number of women, particularly in hospitals. Salary scales could therefore be revised upwards, focusing as much on low salaries as those in the highest positions, and we could thus make these professions more attractive. “Suggests Anne Brunner.
Finally, according to Les Glorieuses, favoring parental leave of equivalent duration for both parents would make it possible to share one’s time fairly, and not to disadvantage women in their work.
At the global level, the road promises to be long. In its report on the gap between women and men published in 2022, the World Economic Forum estimates that it would take another 132 years to close the gap in inequality between men and women in the world.
► To read also: France: increase in wage inequality between men and women in 2020
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