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New figures show gender income inequality still an issue

Danish women continue to earn less than men, new report shows


Negotiating is money (Photo: Colourbox)

December 20, 2013
11:04

by JNB


Danish women earn less than their male counterparts, according to a new report from Statistics Denmark.

Whether looking at ordinary employees, the self-employed or retirees, the disposable income of women in 2012 was less than that of men. Only among the unemployed do women bring in more money than men.

According to the report, the average annual disposable income for women in 2012 was 186,000 kroner – roughly 36,000 kroner less than men's. The difference between women and men is even greater when comparing the employed. Working women had 241,000 kroner in disposable income - 42,000 kroner less than employed men. And according to a consumer economist at Sydbank, men's disposable income increased at a rate higher than women's throughout 2012.

Only unemployed women come out better
Only among the group of unemployed and recipients of social benefits do women fare better than men. Statistics Denmark says that is because women receive more in child and family aid and housing aid than men.

Karen Sjørup, lecturer at Roskilde University's Institute of Society and Globalisation, told Politiken newspaper that the figures emphasise that it should pay to work.

"It's not because women get too much aid, but because they get too little out of working," Sjørup said.

Sjørup suggests that the inequality can be reduced by making proper evaluations of a job's value. In Sweden and Canada, she says, there have been attempts to more accurately set wages after the skills that are required for the job. Sjørup told Politiken she remains optimistic on behalf of women, and said that a proper education is the best weapon for negotiating a better wage.



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