Equal pay and equal treatment at work (Article 157 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Recast Directive 2006/54)

AuthorKadriye Bakirci
4 Equal pay and equal treatment at work (Article 157 of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Recast Direct ive 2006/54)
4.1 General (legal) context
4.1.1 Surveys on the gender pay gap and the difficulties of realising equal pay
Equal pay is essential to achieving full gender equality in the world of work and a fairer,
more inclusive world in general. Target 8.5 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals calls
for equal pay for work of equal value by 2030.104
There is no national survey on the gender pay gap in Turkey. However the ILO’s 2018
report, Global Wage Report 2018/19: What lies behind gender pay gaps105 and the 2019
ILO report, A quantum leap for gender equality: for a better future of work for all106 cover
The ILO’s Global Wage Report is based on an analysis of 70 countries and 80 % of wage
earners worldwide, comparing women and men in homogeneous subsets by education,
age, hours worked (full time vs part time) and public vs private sector using weighted
The study reveals that the global gender pay gap stood at 18.8 %. The gap is 12 % in
Turkey. The gender pay gap remains a challenge for all countries to overcome.107
A 2017 ILO-Gallup global report108 shows the wide pay gap between working mothers and
working non-mothers It states that with a pay gap of 29.6 %, Turkey is the country with
the highest motherhood penalty among both upper-middle and lower-middle income
countries, and hosts the most disadvantageous conditions in this regard. Working mothers
pay the highest penalty by receiving 30 % less in wages than non-mothers. Motherhood
also causes labour market interruption, and womens permanent exit from labour
Womens participation in the labour force is lower than men in all countries worldwide,
regardless of pay level or age group. Most disadvantaged are women in the 25-35 age
group, whose participation in the labour market generally goes down following first-time
motherhood in this period. Unfortunately, most women of the 25-35 age group who leave
the labour market for motherhood do not return.110
An infographic poster on Understanding the Gender Pay Gap,111 deriving from the ILO’s
Global Wage Report and Quantum Leap report, produced by the ILO Office for Turkey,
states that women in paid employment are better educated than men and that the public
104 UN, Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
105 ILO (2018) Global Wage Report 2018/19: What lies behind gender pay gaps. International Labour
Organisation, Geneva. https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/books/WCMS_650553/lang--en/index.htm.
106 ILO (2019) Quantum leap report. http://esitizberaberiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ILO-Report-A-
107 ILO (2019) Quantum leap report.
108 ILO-Gallup Report (2017) Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men,
International Labour Organization, Geneva.
109 ILO (2019) Quantum leap report: Recent studies identify a “motherhood penalty” as a source of gender
pay gaps. This indicator of pay gap between mothers and non-mothers reveals striking results when
compared to the “fatherhood premium” indicating the pay gap between fathers and non-fathers’.
110 ILO (2019) Quantum leap report.
111 See http://esitizberaberiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Infographic-on-%E2%80%9CUnderstanding-

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