Tackling the gender pay gap: the Council approves conclusions

The Council adopted conclusions calling the Commission and the member states for greater efforts to reduce the gender pay gap and gender gaps in care, and to combat gender stereotypes.

The Council has approved Conclusions on “Tackling the Gender Pay Gap: Valuation and Distribution of Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work”.

In its conclusions, the Council calls on the Commission to step up the efforts to reduce the gender pay gap and gender gaps in care, using all available measures, and to follow up the measures set out in the EU Action Plan 2017 – 2019 on Tackling the gender pay gap.

The conclusions highlight a two-pronged approach to achieve both equal pay and comprehensive equality on the labour market: firstly, paid work and unpaid care work need to be shared on an equal basis between women and men, and, secondly, the provision of public infrastructure and external services is crucial to allow for the “outsourcing” of care work.   

The conclusions also invite the member states to further develop or establish a framework, including collective agreements where relevant, for the sharing of paid work and unpaid care work between men and women on an equal basis. At the same time, member states are invited to take steps to ensure that the value of care-related occupations is recognised.

In addition, the Council also invites the member states and the Commission to design and implement measures to combat gender stereotypes that restrict the free choices of girls and boys and women and men regarding their studies and careers. Among the suggested measures are combating gender stereotypes in early childhood, pre-school, primary and secondary education, and better informing young people about all relevant aspects and implications regarding occupational choices.

The Council also calls on the social partners to give due consideration to gender equality in the context of collective bargaining.

The conclusions are based on a report prepared by the European Institute for Gender Equality. They were drawn up within the context of the review of the implementation of the United Nations agenda for gender equality and women’s empowerment (Beijing Platform for Action), with particular reference to the area of women and the economy.

The conclusions were approved by written procedure.