Protest for women's rights in Berlin (archive image)
Photo: ODD ANDERSEN / AFP
The wage gap between women and men in Germany is greater than almost anywhere else in Europe.
This is the result of a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).
Women in Germany earned an average of 19 percent less than men in 2019.
This puts Germany in third from last place out of a total of 34 countries examined.
This so-called gender pay gap has hardly decreased in Germany for years.
According to Eurostat, only Austria and Estonia have even higher wage gaps.
There are noticeably small differences in Romania (around two percent), Italy and Belgium (around six percent each) and Poland (around nine percent).
However, the DIW analysis also shows that, in a European comparison, a higher employment rate among women usually goes hand in hand with a larger gender pay gap.
Because then many low-income women are included in the statistics.
Conversely, the difference in earnings in countries with low female employment rates is rather small - because often only women with comparatively high wages work at all.
Gender pay gap low in Italy - because few women work
The DIW researchers cite Italy as an example, which has the third lowest gender pay gap in Europe with a gender pay gap of 5.5 percent.
There, however, only a little more than half of the women are gainfully employed, whereas in Germany it is almost three quarters.
"If you only look at the 14 European countries with a female employment rate between 70 and 80 percent, Germany does not do any better," write the DIW experts.
In Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden even more women are employed than in Germany, and yet the wage gap with men is often much smaller there.
Only Austria and Estonia are worse off in this ranking.
"Family policy in Germany needs more elements of gender equality," said DIW expert Julia Schmieder.
She advocated extending partner months for parental allowance, introducing family working hours and reforming the splitting of spouses, "which in its current form thwarted equality in the labor market."
Icon: The mirror
hej / Reuters