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Emma Ritch UK Joint Committee on Women EQUAL PAY IN PRACTICE: HOW NGOs RESPOND Irish Presidency Seminar Dublin, 27.02.2013
1. EWL – who we are 2. EWL approaches to equal pay 3. Campaigning 4. Advocacy and lobbying 5. Conclusions Structure of presentation
1. The EWL – who we are
The largest umbrella organisation of women’s associations in the EU National co ordinations in 30 European countries and 21 European-wide member organisations (migrant women, women farmers, women lawyers, trade unions etc.) Concentrating on European-level, but activities from local to international level EWL: The voice of European Women
The main policy areas of EWL work Male violence against women Women in decision-making / representation Economic and social policy from a feminist perspective Women's diversity and anti-discrimination Migration, integration and asylum
2. The EWL approaches to equal pay
Outcomes pursued by EWL Feminist perspective in EU economic, employment and social policies Quality employment for women as key to economic independence and real equality between women and men Life course perspective in political approach to women’s employment, including pension-aged women
EWL: Campaigning Europe-wide campaigning Developing and disseminating campaign materials and briefings Supporting country-level campaigning Partnering with campaigns Sharing successful campaigning ideas across national co-ordinations Encouraging links between co-ordinations
EWL: Advocacy and lobbying European-level advocacy Europe 2020 European Semester Country-level advocacy National Reform Programme engagement Production of alternative country-specific recommendations In-country advocacy e.g. UK House of Lords
Campaigning, lobbying and advocacy focuses Eliminating the gender pay gap Eliminating the gender pension gap Gender equality in sharing paid and unpaid work Reconciliation of professional and family life Reduction of women’s disproportionate share of marginal, precarious, and part-time work Individualisation of taxes and welfare benefits
EWL members Campaigns Business and Professional Women – BPW Europe
EWL members’ campaigns
Campaign aims Raising awareness and mobilization To influence both Governments and companies to change their gender policy and practice Making the “invisible“ pay gap a topic in the media and in companies Exert influence on practice by building an understanding and analysis of the pay gap and its causes
Austerity Europe? Pay and pension gaps widening Women increasingly in atypical, precarious work Pensions under pressure Maternity and care Regressive policy and incentives Disconnect between macro and micro economic policy and social and employment policy
Why equal pay is important Economic growth and the competition for talent Skills gaps and shortages in gender segregated sectors; drag on economic growth Productivity, morale, innovation, reduced HR and legal costs Equal society Better quality work Economic independence for women, including older women
Broken links The EU2020 Strategy Employment Guideline 7 “Member States should (...) promote (..) gender equality including equal pay, (..) Employment Guideline 10 “All measures should also aim at promoting gender equality.” Yet Country-specific recommendations: One country recommended to address the gender pay gap 17 out of 27 member states recommendation on wage policy, wages and wage formation – no pay gap
Specific interventions: maternity leave directive Maternity leave directive Deadlock – negotiations stalled on EP adopted position (2010) Would challenge perceptions of women as a “risky and expensive employee-pool.” Shift idea that parental leave for men is “career-threatening and financially risky” EWL’s aspiration: women and men are equal earners/equal carers
Specific interventions: EU Gender pension gap target Strengthen the first pillar, and address gendered issues in the second and third pillars Minimum pensions at state level to ensure individualised access for women, regardless of their pension contributions, which will have been impacted by shorter working lives. Develop European standards on care crediting
Concluding thoughts Outcomes of recent pay transparency measures need to be monitored and shared. (2012 France, Belgium) Is justice accessible? How can NGOs strengthen collaboration with Equality Bodies on issues underpinning the pay gap? What role does minimum wage legislation have to play in narrowing pay gaps? Strengthen EU2020 Strategy – how do we make better links with Stability Pacts : gender perspective on the impact on women’s pay, pensions and poverty?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION! For more information: www.womenlobby.org
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