Women in Cyprus are still paid less than their male colleagues with the gender pay gap at 10.4% but the island is taking baby steps in eradicating gender-based inequality.
Although better off than the EU average of 16%, Cyprus women are still paid €10 less for every €100 their male colleagues are earning.
In a message on Tuesday, marking the International Equal Pay Day, the Committee for Gender Equality said its aim is to address the issue of the gender pay gap in Cyprus.
According to the Committee, the gender pay gap is the difference between the average salary of men and the average salary of women in the economy as a whole.
However, it argues, the pay gap is not an indicator of the general quality between men and women as it only reflects pay and the different working conditions for men and women.
The index does not take into account the percentage of low-skilled or unskilled women and a wide pay gap is usually a typical characteristic of a highly segregated labour market, such as Cyprus, or where a significant proportion of women work part-time.
The Committee said research has shown that actions taken by the social partners contribute to reducing the pay gap while legal interventions also play a part in strengthening monitoring mechanisms related to supporting women’s employment and reconciling work and family life.
“A continuous effort is needed to consolidate a work culture free from direct and indirect discrimination, as reflected in national policy and collective agreements.”
Cyprus has made slow but steady progress in closing the gender gap in the workplace and society.
Based on Eurostat data on gender pay gap trends, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) calculated in October that the EU’s earnings divide will not be eliminated until the next century at the current pace of change.
However, Cyprus is slightly better off, as according to the ETUC, its gender pay gap is expected to be erased in 2051 while it will take the EU up until 2104.
It said the gender pay gap in the EU has narrowed by just 1% in the last eight years, at this rate, women in the EU will have to wait another 84 years to achieve equal pay if current wage trends continue.
In Cyprus, the gap was 16.8% in 2010 and fell to 13.7% in 2018, so according to the ETUC, if Cyprus keeps closing the gap at the same rate, then it will be overcome in 30 years.
Meanwhile, in the latest EU Gender Equality Index released earlier in October, Cyprus ranked 21st in the EU with a score of 56.9 out of 100, increasing its mark by 7.9 points since 2010 (+0.6 since 2017), making slightly faster progress towards gender equality than the other Member States.