Women in Germany earn nearly a fifth less than men

Women in Germany continue to be paid significantly less than their male colleagues, with an average difference in wages of 18 percent.

Women in Germany earn nearly a fifth less than men
"Finally close the pay gap!" is written on a banner at an Equal Pay Day event at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Paul Zinken

A report by the German Federal Statistical Office released on Monday showed that in 2021, women in Germany earned on average 18 percent less per hour than men.

The results of the report, released on Germany’s “Equal Pay Day” on March 7th, ahead of International Women’s Day, showed that, in 2021 women earned an average of €19.12 per hour while men earned an average of €23.10 per hour – a difference of €4.08.

READ ALSO: How has the Covid pandemic impacted gender equality in Germany?

The so-called gender pay gap remained almost the same as the previous year: in 2020 the difference was €4.16.

However, the gender pay gap in Germany has been steadily decreasing over the past 15 years and has fallen by 4 percent since 2006.

More women in Part-time jobs and mini-jobs

According to the statistics, differences between the type of jobs and sectors which women and men work in accounts for the majority (71 percent) of the difference in earnings.

Women work more often in sectors and occupations where pay is lower and where they are less likely to reach management positions. Also, women are much more likely to have part-time jobs or mini-jobs than men.

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German opposition adopts gender parity target for 2025

Germany's main opposition party, the centre-right Christian Democrats, on Saturday adopted a quota policy for women in senior leadership roles with a goal of gender parity by 2025.

German opposition adopts gender parity target for 2025

Delegates for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party adopted the new rule with 559 votes for and 409 against, with 11 abstentions, at the congress in Hanover.

From next year, women must occupy a third of leadership positions at both local and national levels, climbing to 40 percent by 2024 and then reaching 50 percent by mid-2025.

The same quotas will apply to candidate lists at general, regional and European elections.

The decision settles a debate that has agitated the party of the former chancellor Angela Merkel for several years.

Former president Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who was the head of the CDU between 2018 and 2021, put forward the policy.

She encountered a lot of pushback to the proposal among the party, which was created in the immediate post-war period and whose posts of responsibility are mostly held by men.

And despite the target being passed, there is still strong resistance to quotas by many delegates who fear the policy risks appointing women solely to meet targets and not based on ability.

But CDU chairman Friedrich Merz has given his support to the goal, and emphasised that “more than 50 percent of voters are women”.

Merkel left office in 2021 after 16 years in power and was succeeded by Social Democrat Olaf Scholz at the helm of a three-way coalition with the Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats.

After losing power last year, the CDU is hoping to win in the elections in 2025.

The conservatives are currently leading in the polls, ahead of the Greens and Scholz’s Social Democrats.

Before the national vote, the CDU is also hoping to make gains in regional elections, with the next on October 9 in the region of Lower Saxony.