DIFI plays active role as key issue is debated at major United Nations gathering
The gender pay gap and Qatar’s continuing efforts to see it closed have been highlighted in a webinar held at the 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
The webinar – Equal Pay for Women: Tools and Policies – was presented by the European Union (EU) Social Fund, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic, Department of the EU and International Cooperation at the annual international event organized by United Nations Women.
The gender pay gap (GPG) is a pressing issue in the trading bloc, with an income disparity of 15 percent between men and women. While the factors that give rise to GPG are similar worldwide, some countries that recognized the issue early have developed effective approaches to address it.
The webinar included a panel discussion moderated by Martina Štěpánková, Deputy Minister for European Funds and International Cooperation, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic. The panel speakers comprised distinguished women from a host of countries – including Qatar – who gave presentations on tools and policies adopted by governments worldwide to address GPG.
Dr. Marie-Thérèse Chicha, Professor at the University of Montreal and International Labour Office Geneva, commenced with a presentation on the measures implemented by the EU to deal with the issue.
Dr. Sharifa Noaman Al-Emadi, Executive Director of Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), presented Qatar as a case study, highlighting the State’s efforts to close GPG and ensure equal pay for equal work. During her presentation of DIFI’s Comparative Analysis of Gender Equality in Social Welfare in Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, she tackled GPG from a family perspective, citing how the problem decreases the income of dual-earner families and affects households where the mother is the sole breadwinner.
Dr. Al-Emadi also enlarged the scope of the discussion from GPG to women’s access to equal training opportunities in the workplace and the need for adequate work-family balance policies. She concluded by benchmarking QF as a best practice model with women in leadership and adopting policies that ensure better work-family balance, reduce GPG and promote fair gender representation.
The panel also hosted Sylvie Durrer, Director of the Federal Office for Gender Equality, Switzerland. She discussed the assurance of equal value for equal work and the national charter for equal pay adopted by her nation.
Special Advisor at Iceland Directorate of Equality, Dr. Tryggvi Hallgrímsson, presented the Icelandic gender equality act, an innovative certification system that takes into consideration employment provisions and gender equality, including gender pay.
Additional experiences were presented by Belgian politician Lesia Radelicki, Cabinet Member, EU Commissioner for Equality; Maltese policymaker Helena Dalli, the European Commissioner for Equality; and Lenka Simerská, Head of GPG Reduction Portfolio at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic.