Equal Pay for Equal Work?
Aspects of the Gender Pay Gap
Women in Slovakia earn 27 percent less than men – this information was published on 31 May 2007 by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic. For a certain period (May – July 2007) this pay gap became one of the most important media themes. What was new was its gender dimension. The public discussion revolved around the published figures and their interpretations, searching for explanation of differences and women’s and men’s earnings. “How can we explain that a nurse earns less than a policeman?” asked the EU commissioner Vladimír Špidla.
The new publication Aká práca, taká pláca? (Equal Pay for Equal Work) does not bring ready-made answers to this question, but it sketches out possible ways to finding them, and – more importantly – opens up new questions: What is the relation between the gender pay gap, valuation of “female” and “male” work and the social status of women and men? In what way do experts and the media contribute to defining social agendas? What is the micro and macro-economic importance of paid and unpaid work? What factors influence the gender pay gap? What statistical data are missing in Slovakia?
The publication about current gender differences in earnings in the Slovak Republic contains four papers discussing this issue from various angles. Each of them opens up other aspect of pay inequality: history, legislation and conceptualization of the issue, statistical data and research, value orientations of women and men in Slovakia, the current media discourse.
The book is the eighth one from the series Aspekty (Aspects). The publication brings results of analyses carried out within the project “Gender Pay Differences as an Important Aspect of Gender Equality Discourse – the Analysis of the Current Situation in Slovakia” which in the second half of 2007 was coordinated by the Feminist Publishing and Educational Project ASPEKT Bratislava and financially supported by the foundation Heinrich Böll Stiftung.