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Title: Tackling the gender pay gap in Malta
Authors: Borg, Anna
Keywords: Equal pay for equal work -- Malta
Pay equity -- Malta
Wages -- Malta
Pay equity -- Law and legislation -- Malta
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: European Commission
Citation: Borg, A. (2016). Tackling the gender pay gap in Malta. Brussels: European Commission.
Abstract: Malta has the second lowest gender wage gap amongst EU states. At 4.5 % this is just 1.6 percentage points above the best performing country Slovenia – which has the lowest wage gap at 2.9 % – and 11.6 percentage points below the EU-28 average of 16.1 % (Eurostat, 2016). However, a study on the Gender Pay Gap in Malta commissioned by the National Commission for the promotion of Equality (NCPE), which was based on 587 randomly selected persons in gainful employment and on 20 qualitative interviews, suggests that the gap may be much higher, and at the time (2006) amounted to 23.25 % (Aquilina, Darmanin, Deguara, & Said, 2006). It must be noted that methodology adopted in this case was different to the one generally used by the National Statistics Office (NSO) and by Eurostat – but it gives an indication that the picture may not be as positive as it may first seem. However, since 2008, the Gender wage gap overall has been decreasing, and when using Eurostat data, statistically this places Malta amongst the best performing EU states on this issue. In spite of this positive indicator, the low wage gap needs to be taken in a context of relatively low national female employment rates and low gender equality achievements overall – especially when it comes to political empowerment and decision-making in business organisations. On the other hand, Maltese women are faring much better in their educational attainment with close to 60 % of graduates being female in the last decade (University of Malta, 2015). On the issue of women in the labour market, whilst noting a healthy increase in the number of working women in the last years, when looking at the overall female employment rate at 53.6 %, this places Malta with other Mediterranean countries like Italy (50.6 %) and Greece (46.0 %), towards the bottom end of the EU-28 employment table (Eurostat, 2016). Likewise, when it comes to the overall performance on Gender Equality, Malta also ranks towards the bottom end of the league at the 104th position out of 145 countries (Global Gender Gap Report, 2015). When looking at the wage gap specifically and its causes, the study by Aquilina et al, (2006) indicated that career breaks have a big impact on career progression and the earning potential of workers. In general, Maltese women take on more breaks and their career breaks tend to be much longer than those of men. On the other hand, men tend to stay longer with the same employer and they are more likely to be offered a promotion than women, with fewer men than women refusing to be promoted (Aquilina et al, 2006).
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