Women step up fight for equal pay

A cross-party women’s alliance has been launched in Bern to campaign for equal pay for women for equal work.

This content was published on March 5, 2012 - 15:21
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Women still earn on average 18.4 per cent less than men doing exactly the same job despite the fact that the law on sex equality has been in force since 1981, and wage discrimination has been illegal for 15 years.

Given this difference, the Business and Professional Women (BPW) group has calculated that women need to work until March 7 to earn what their male colleagues have made by December 31. The BPW has therefore designated March 7 as Equal Pay day.

Women Trades Union activists are sending an open letter to all members of parliament for March 8, International Women’s Day, calling on them to work to ensure equal pay.

The new Women’s Alliance is composed of the BPW, the Women’s Commission of the Swiss Federation of Trades Unions and the women’s sections of the centre-right Conservative Democrats, Christian Democrats and Radicals and of the centre-left Social Democrats.

The alliance has called on companies to take part in the voluntary discussion about salaries which runs until 2014. So far only about 20 companies have done so.

Should this discussion not take place, the Social Democrat women want a new authority set up that can take offenders to court.

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