“Equality on the labour-market: the position and role of women”

From 02 – 04 October 2018 the World Organization of Workers (WOW) in cooperation with the European Centre for Workers’ Questions (EZA) and supported by the European Commission organized a seminar titled “Equality on the labour-market: the position and role of women”. The seminar took place in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The strive for an equal position of women on the labour-market in comparison to the position of men has been heavily debated for numerous years. One can surely remember the heavy debates concerning a quota for women in top-positions, This debate resulted in a discussion that eventually was more about the traits of women (less ambitious; not daring to stand up for themselves; having doubts as to whether one would be able to fulfil the responsibilities of the function), than about a more equal treatment of women (which was the actual reason for coming with the proposal to have quotas).

Since then things have changed, but still women are not equally remunerated for the same job. This may be considered a strange phenomenon since the academic performance of women has been, for some years now, better than that of men. So why does this not show on the labour-market?

Speakers from Iceland, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Serbia, Canada, and Denmark contributed to the discussion. Particularly the presentation by Ms. Magnea Marinósdóttir, Senior Advisor, Equality Unit, Ministry of Welfare (Iceland) was received very well. Earlier this year Iceland became the first country in the world to make companies prove they are not paying women less than men for the same work. This is a huge step to more equality.

Also very interesting was the contribution of the colleagues from CLAC, Canada. Canada has the 8th highest gender pay gap out of list of 43 countries examined by OECD (2016) which is not necessarily a good position for a country where its prime-minister was applauded for his Gender-Equal Cabinet. CLAC is doing a lot to improve the position of women on the labour-market. Their main aim is to create awareness and shift the attitudes and culture in order to increase female participation in sectors where women traditionally not have been very active in. And to create specific platforms for women. Education is key.

One of the main findings from the seminar was that women should have an option to work, be that part-time or full time. Today many do not really have this option. They are either forced to work part-time (even when they would like to work more) or are negatively spoken about when working full time (certainly in the case of having children). In the end many women will still prefer to work part-time, but this should then be their choice. It should be an option. And it should not be decided by others.

Positive is that there is more equality than before. But there is still quite a long way to go to achieve full equality. In pay, but maybe more so in the mind and perception of people.

for pictures click here

About WOW

WOW was founded as a Social Christian trade union and finds inspiration in the spiritual believe that man and universe were created by God or by persuasions coinciding with that. The increase of intercultural contacts provided opportunities for the WOW to expand and broaden its view with visions of other religious backgrounds. WOW does so in a joint attempt to build a world community based on freedom, dignity, justice and solidarity.

Recent Posts

webdesign development
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top