The Council of the European Union has called on EU countries to make more of an effort to reduce the gender pay gap and gender gaps in care. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) welcomed the report presented to the Council and entitled: Conclusions on Tackling the Gender Pay Gap: Valuation and Distribution of Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work.
The EIGE said that the conclusions proposed by the Council are based on an EIGE report which recognizes that there is a direct link between the unequal division of unpaid care in households and gender inequality in the labour market
‘’The benefits of dividing care work more evenly are clear. Countries with a more equal sharing of unpaid care between women and men, tend to have higher employment rates for women and lower gender gaps in earnings,’’ said Carlien Scheele, EIGE’s Director.
According to the report, across the EU, the bulk of unpaid care work is done by women, with 92 % providing unpaid care several days a week – as opposed to 68 % of men. Employed women also do more than their fair share of unpaid care work. Across the EU, they spend 90 minutes more per day than employed men on unpaid care.
The European Institute said that the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of care for a well-functioning society and economy. Currently, women make up 37 million of the 49 million care workers in the EU. Many find themselves in low paid, temporary jobs, with little career prospects.