Equal Pay Day draws attention to gender wage gap ({{commentsTotal}})

The photo is illustrative
The photo is illustrative Source: (Martin Dremljuga/ERR)

Various events and meetings across Estonia aim to raise public awareness about the gender wage gap in Estonia today.

Estonia has the highest gender pay gap in Europe. According to the latest figures by Eurostat, the gender pay gap in Estonia was a 29.9 percent. The gender pay gap exists in every country across the European Union – the analysis shows that women earned on average 16,4 percent less than men in 2013. Yet Estonia’s figure is almost double the average, and largest in the EU.

Many other countries, which were formerly on the east side of the Iron Curtain, are doing much better when it comes to gender pay gap. For example, Slovenia has the lowest gender pay gap in Europe (3.2 percent). In Poland (6.4 percent), Croatia (7.4 percent), Romania (9.1 percent) and Lithuania (13.3 percent), the gender pay gap is less than the EU average.

What’s even more worrying, Estonia stands out as one of the countries where the gender pay gap has worsened: between 2008 and 2013, it increased by 2.3 percentage points.

The gender pay gap represents the difference between average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees and of female paid employees as a percentage of average gross hourly earnings of male paid employees. Differences between females and males in the labor market do not only concern wage discrepancies but also and along with it, the type of occupations held.

The latter fact is usually brought up as a counterargument in Estonia by those who downplay the seriousness of the gender pay gap issue – they argue that men simply work on more demanding jobs, avoiding the low-paid service sector, for instance. This fails to take into account that women in top and managerial positions tend to be paid less as well, despite the fact that they are as highly qualified - statistics shows that Estonian women have on average actually better educational qualifications.

These are the issues and concerns that the Equal Pay Day attempts to draw attention for. Seminars and discussion forums will take place in eight Estonian towns.

Editor: S. Tambur

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.