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Women get discounted train tickets for Equal Pay Day in Germany – Yahoo Style

People take part in a march marking International Women’s Day in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke

Women in Berlin, Germany can travel around the city at a discounted rate on Monday to mark “Equal Pay Day.”

The capital’s Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) transport authority offered female riders a 21% discount, reflecting that women trail men by 21% in average earnings across all sectors. Crunched into actual daily pay, women would have worked for nothing until 18 March this year. 

The BVG’s “Mind the Pay Gap” promotion is likely to be little consolation to German women. The country’s gender pay gap is one of the largest in the EU and has barely changed in recent years.

While some criticized the BVG for being unfair to men, Iris Spranger, a member of Berlin’s House of Representatives, backed the idea of a cheaper ticket. “The women’s ticket is an original idea to highlight the gender pay gap,” Spranger told the New York Times[1], adding that the BVG has had an equal-pay policy since 2003.

Germany had the third-largest pay gap in the EU — after Estonia and the Czech Republic — in 2017, according to Eurostat[2]. It also fares worse than the UK, where the pay gap was 20.8% in 2017, and the US, where it was 19.5%.

German women tend to earn less than men in the same roles, as well as often take on more part-time jobs than men, in part because they need to shoulder childcare too. These trends are not unique to the country.

Despite a 2015 law ordering companies to ensure that at least 30% of their supervisory board members were women by 2025, the “female quota” law appears to be ineffective so far — and it only applies to listed companies with over 2,000 staff. A study from the German Institute for Economic Research in October 2018 found that things were especially bad in the finance sector, where, it said, “men still occupy more than 90% of management board seats.” [3]

After the general election in 2017, the percentage of women in the federal parliament actually dropped to 31%, its lowest level in 19 years.



  1. ^ the New York Times (www.nytimes.com)
  2. ^ Eurostat (ec.europa.eu)
  3. ^ found (www.handelsblatt.com)

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