Why this story matters:
In Austria, women earn significantly less than their male counterparts with the same qualifications and positions, but the issue appears to have fallen off the political radar.
The previous government had declared targets in its fight with the gender pay gap. However, in the 2018-2019 budget proposal of the new ruling coalition -- and under the watch of Minister for Women Juliane Bogner-Strauss -- these numbers have disappeared.
The former Minister of Women, Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, was vocal about her disappointment:
"The government reduces women's budget while giving up on one of the most important tasks of women's policy, namely 'equal pay for equal work', which would require a clear numerical target [...] in the budget."
In sum, the lower earnings of Austrian women will not be tackled by the current government, despite the very real consequences of this inequality, like poverty in single mothers or retired women.
Details from the story:
- Austria is one of the countries with the largest gender pay gap compared to other EU Member States.
- This large pay gap is accompanied by a high female employment rate and a high rate of part-time workers among women. Part-time employment of women is therefore often cited as one of the main causes of the large gender pay gap.
- In the EU, the pay gap between women and men (gender pay gap) is calculated on the basis of average gross hourly earnings in the private sector. The gender pay gap in Austria has fallen from 25.5% in 2006 to 20% in 2016, which is still well above the EU average of 16.2 percent.