The Minister of Labour and Social Justice, Marius Budăi, and the head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) of Switzerland, Alain Berset, had a bilateral meeting at the UN headquarters, in the margins of the 63rd session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which is taking place in New York from 11th to 22nd of March 2019.
During the discussions held on Monday with the Swiss official, Marius Budăi talked about combating the pay gap between women and men, decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for equal work, by 2030, some of Romania’s priorities for the period of holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Minister of Labour pointed out that, in Romania, the average of income of women per hour is with only 5.2% less than for men, a percentage by which our country ranks first in the EU-28 ranking, where, according to the most recent Eurostat data, this average is 16,2%.
The Romanian official explained that the existence of a difference between the wage income earned by women and those earned by men influences the strengthening of the economic autonomy of women, as well as their pensions later.
“It is, therefore, essential to ensure a regulatory framework by which women benefit from a real economic independence, allowing them to participate fully and responsibly to the social and family life, in the decision‑making process in all areas and at all levels”, stated Marius Budăi.
Alain Berset addressed to Minister Marius Budăi the invitation for Romania to become a member of the Equal Pay International Coalition – EPIC, a body launched in 2017, in New York, on the occasion of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
EPIC is led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), headquartered in Geneva-Switzerland, UN Women (United Nations Entity dedicated to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) and the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD).
The aim of the Coalition is to reduce the pay gap between women and men worldwide. Bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders from different areas and with diverse expertise, EPIC supports governments, employers, workers and their organisations to make concrete and coordinated progress in order to achieve this objective.
Currently, the Coalition includes 18 members, among which Switzerland, Jordan, Iceland, Panama, Republic of Korea, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa.