OECD: No gender equality in Germany

OECD study: Germany with large wage gap between men and women

Women have a difficult job in Germany. In management positions, their share is still far too low, their salary is on average significantly lower than that of men, and they are increasingly at risk of poverty in old age, according to the results of a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and development (OECD).

The OECD has examined gender equality in its Member States and found significant national differences. Germany is frighteningly bad in an international comparison. Hardly any other country has such a large income gap between men and women. Of the 34 OECD countries examined, Germany ranked third-worst in terms of the gender pay gap. Women receive around 22 percent less wages than men for jobs in the middle income bracket. Women also work part-time significantly more often, which “often also has a negative impact on professional advancement,” reports the OECD. As a result, the gender wage gap increases with age and is three times higher for those over 40 than for younger workers. Overall, only 28 percent of managers in Germany are women. In fact, women only make up six percent of the board and supervisory board members of listed companies, reports the OECD.

Many women in Germany work part-time Apparently, past efforts to equate women in the professional sector in this country have borne little fruit. While politics is still the subject of heated debate as to whether a quota for women is also useful for managers, for example, the OECD Germany has now issued a sobering report on professional equality. Anyone who thought equality had long been lived in Germany had to be instructed otherwise. The gender-specific income differences are more pronounced in Germany than in any other country. This affects both employment and salary as a freelancer, where women earn an average of 63 percent less than men (OECD average 34 percent). According to the OECD, more than half of the general gender-specific income differences in Germany can be attributed to the high proportion of part-time work among women. In Germany, 62 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 54 work part-time, reports the head of the OECD Department for Social Policy, Monika Queisser.

Extreme pension gap between men and women - women are at risk of old-age poverty At 68 percent, the proportion of women in employment in Germany is above the OECD average of 60 percent, but many only work part-time because they take on childcare and housework in parallel. The percentage of children up to three years of age who are looked after during the day is remarkably low in Germany, at 18 percent, reports the OECD. According to Monika Queisser, an improvement could be achieved by expanding "good and affordable childcare". This could also help narrow the huge pension gap between men and women. Because of the shorter contribution careers, fewer working hours and lower income, women in Germany have an average pension of around 50 percent less than men. With this gender-related pension gap, Germany is a sad leader in the OECD. As a result of the low pension, ten percent of female pensioners in Germany live in old age poverty, according to the latest study. Two thirds of retired Germans are women.

Women better qualified than men, but less present professionally The lower income of women is increasingly in conflict with the actual qualifications. According to the OECD, young women in particular are often better educated than men in this country. Today, 27 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 34 have a degree from a university, a technical college or a master's certificate (tertiary education), while this applies to only 25 percent of men. Nevertheless, women are less present professionally. In addition to the weaknesses in the range of supervision, the choice of subject also plays an important role here. For example, according to the OECD in 2009, women accounted for only 16 percent of tertiary IT degrees in Germany, while their share of tertiary degrees in health and social care was 70 percent. "These study decisions can be explained with attitudes rather than with gender-specific talents," explains the OECD and therefore called for "typical gender roles to be questioned from an early age".

Political decisions threaten to consolidate differences According to the OECD, Germany's poor performance in the current study can also be traced back to certain legal peculiarities. For example, as a result of the spouse splitting, Germany has the only tax and social system in the OECD in which it is not worthwhile for parents of school-age children that both parts work. " between 13 and 36 months, mothers with small children can also motivate them to quit their jobs and to devote themselves to childcare at home. In this way, “the already considerable differences between men and women on the German labor market would solidify,” according to the OECD. However, some political decisions have definitely initiated a positive development. For example, significantly more fathers have taken time off for their children since the parental leave reform. In 2007 there were only nine percent of fathers, in the second half of 2012 the proportion was already 25 percent. Here, "Germany is on the right track," emphasized the head of the OECD's Department for Social Policy, Monika Queisser. (fp)

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