The EU has been taking action for more than 50 years to defend the equal pay for equal work or work of equal value.
It is illegal to discriminate against women in the labour market and pay women lower wages than men when doing the same work that is of an equal value. The Commission is analyzing the effectiveness of community law on equal pay. Depending on the result of the analysis the Commission may present new legislative proposals on this issue.
The European Pact for Gender Equity adopted by EU leaders in 2006 made fighting the gender pay gap a priority by encouraging at member state and union level in equal pay for equal work.
The European Parliament considers the fight against the gender pay gap a political priority. One of the priorities of the ‘framework of actions on gender equality’ which was adopted in March 2005 by the European social partners is the reduction of the pay gap.
According to the first follow-up report on its implementation the framework of actions has prompted a large number of measures at national level which use a wide variety of instruments such as awareness-raising and training measures, the development of wage-comparison tools or strategies to reduce the pay gap.