Wages for French men and women lack 'égalité'

Ben McPartland
Ben McPartland - [email protected]
Wages for French men and women lack 'égalité'
File photo of equal rights protesters marching through Paris in 2011. Photo Miguel Medina/AFP

A new study revealed on Wednesday that when it comes to salaries, France cannot claim to be a bastion of 'égalité' between men and women.


Just two days before France marks International Women’s Day, a report by the national statistics agency INSEE has revealed that wages vary widely depending on the sexes.

According to INSEE, women working in the public sector in France can expect to earn 13 percent less than their male counterparts.

In the private sector the discrepancy is even wider, with men earning on average 20 percent more than women.

Clemence Helfter from women’s rights group Osez Le Feminisme told The Local the gulf in wages was “not acceptable”.

“Part of this is due to the fact that more women undertake part time jobs than men but there is also an element of pure discrimination against women,” Helster said.

“In an equivalent post on average a women will earn seven percent less than men and that is intolerable.

“Companies are simply ignoring equality laws that force them to pay men and women the same,” she added.

In terms of equality between the rich and poor, the annual INSEE report carried better news for France.

In the year 2009, the top 10 percent of France’s highest earners were found to rake in around three times as much as the bottom 10 percent, which compared favourably to 1967, when the same ratio stood at 3.5.

According to INSEE, the decrease in the gap between the highest and lowest earners can be put down to a rise in the quality of education, an increased number of graduates in work as well as increases to the minimum wage.

INSEE also notes that the revenues of the richest one percent of French people continue to rise.


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