Cypriot women make 10.4 per cent less than men, meaning they need to work more days a year for the same salary, gender equality commissioner Iosifina Antoniou said on Tuesday.
“For 2021, the European Commission has announced November 10 as Equal Pay Day, a day marking the path left towards achieving pay equality between women and men in the EU,” she said in a speech to mark the occasion.
This day aims to draw attention to the gender pay gap and its deeper causes, including those linked to pay discrimination and transparency.
While equal pay between men and women has been enshrined in EU treaties for more than 60 years, it is not fully implemented, with women still earning 86 cents for every euro men earn.
November 10 was therefore chosen to symbolise the beginning of the two months per year during which women effectively work for free, compared to men doing work of equal value.
“Despite improvements to women’s positions in social and professional life, pay differences remain wide and entrenched,” the official EU statement on this day read.
Antoniou said that according to recent Eurostat data, the pay gap between men and women in Cyprus is 10.4 per cent, slightly lower than the European average of 14 per cent. “Despite the fact that more and more women are entering the job market, they continue to face obstacles stunting their professional growth,” she said.
“While the market is full of remarkable, qualified and capable women, we are sadly noticing that their value is not acknowledged when it comes to rising to higher positions in the hierarchy, with men continuing to occupy the highest positions of power”.
The commissioner added that one of the seven basic goals of the National Gender Equality Action Plan 2019-2023 is professional empowerment for women and the reconciliation of work and family.
Other related goals include effectively addressing sexual abuse and battling gender-based discrimination in the workplace, supporting female entrepreneurship, helping reconcile work and family matters, and promoting equal pay.