Tackling gender segregation, low pay and (un)equal opportunities through collective bargaining and inclusive public services

EPSU Vice-President Françoise Geng speaking at EIGE learning seminar, 3 July 2018

(5 July 2018) Low pay in female dominated sectors, gender-differences in precarious employment, uneven distribution of unpaid care work, persistent pay gap – what connects these issues is that they are all linked to and/or  are reinforced by gender segregation on the labour market.

EPSU  took part in and shared EPSU’s and affiliates’ experience on tackling gender segregation and discussed the way forward at a Learning Seminar hosted by the European Institute for Gender Equality and the cross-sectoral Social Partners on 3rd July in Brussels.

Françoise Geng (Fédération CGT de la Santé et de l’action Sociale ), Vice-President of EPSU, speaking at the panel dealing with health and social services, emphasised the urgent need to revalue women’s work by improving working conditions and pay in female dominated sectors and occupations in order to tackle gender segregation. Measures that would strengthen workers’ rights on Work-Life Balance and pay transparency could also play a vital role.

Another intervention from EPSU’s side touched upon investment in public services in light of recent austerity measures. Investing in public services is an imperative from a gender equality perspective for two reasons. First, many public service sectors are dominated by women and thus properly valuing the work done and workers in these areas (reflected by adequate salaries and working conditions) could contribute to tackling gender segregation. Second, women constitute the majority of  public service users. Ensuring high-quality, accessible and affordable services (such as childcare) is thus indispensable to guaranteeing their economic independence, and improving their well-being.

EPSU and affiliates have addressed the issue of gender segregation and many interlinked topics in social dialogue and collective bargaining. Our recent publication “She works hard for the money” and the report on the Gender Pay gap provides a good overview of these examples and good practices.

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