• Switzerland's news in English

Swiss women earn 41 percent less than men

27 May 2011, 11:42

Published: 27 May 2011 12:01 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 May 2011 11:42 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Women in Switzerland earn 41 percent less than men, according to the Swiss Federation of Trade Unions (SGB). Wage discrimination has even increased over the past few years, the group said on Friday.

The union federation said the concept of equal pay for equal work is far removed from the daily reality of most women in Switzerland.

"When it comes to pay, being a woman is catastrophic," said SGB President Paul Rechsteiner in Bern.

"Men earned on average 6,427 francs while women earned 3,745 francs per month" he added, referring to take-home wage rates from 2008. "That's 41.7 percent less."

He said the reason behind this enormous difference was the fact that women perform a much larger amount of work than men that is important for society overall, but unpaid. Correspondingly, their overall earnings tend to be lower when it comes to gainful employment.

This difference between the amount of paid versus unpaid work done by the two sexes is especially detrimental to women in cases of separation or divorce.

According to the union, many more women work in the low-wage sector than men. Around 75 percent of low-wage jobs are held by women.

Rechsteiner said that wage discrimination was a serious problem in Switzerland, and that women generally earned about 10 percent less than men for equal work.

He said it was especially alarming that such discrimination had actually gotten worse over the past few years.  

"It can't go on like this," he said.

kdj/The Local


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

2011-05-27 19:56:23 by Andy
This article is a bunch of tripe. Is the woman digging the ditch, next to the man digging in the same ditch, being paid 41% less than the man? Is the male nurse, in the hospital, being paid 41% more than the female nurse doing the same job, with the same time on the payroll and job title? When men and women are doing the same job, with equal productivity and job experience many times women are being paid more per hour than their male counterpart. You must compare identical jobs, with identical experience/time on the job, with identical productivity - this article does NOT make an equality comparison.
Today's headlines
Montreux throws hat in Olympic rings
Could Montreux host the 2026 Games? Photo: Ivo Scholz/Swiss Tourism

Montreux is to put itself forward as the host city for the 2026 winter Olympics as part of a potential bid by the cantons of Valais and Vaud.

Geneva car share scheme could help reduce city traffic
Catch a Car is aimed at short hops within a city. Photo: Catch a Car

Catch a Car, already in Basel, launches in Geneva next month.

Swiss women will ‘work for free’ for the rest of year
Female employees in Switzerland earn 19.3 percent less than their male colleagues. File photo: Randy Kashka

Switzerland's gender pay gap means from today, Friday October 21st, women in the country will effectively be working for free for the rest of 2016.

Swiss luxury watches stolen in Paris raid
Police outside the Girard-Perregaux watch store on Thursday. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The 10 Girard-Perregaux watches are worth half a million euros in total.

Brother-in-law arrested over murder of Swiss teacher
The victim worked in a school in Stabio, near the town of Mendrisio. Photo: Oliver Graf

The primary school teacher was found dead in Ticino earlier this week.

Inside Switzerland’s largest nuclear bunker – 40 years on
Designed to house 20,000 people, the bunker was built in and over two motorway tunnels. Photo: Unterirdisch Ueberleben

The Local takes a tour of the Sonnenberg bunker in Lucerne, opened 40 years ago at the height of the Cold War.

Ten Swiss ski resorts named most expensive in Europe
File photo: Renato Bagattini/Swiss Tourism

Skiers in Switzerland pay the highest prices for their ski passes of anywhere in Europe, according to research.

Eco group fights Bern over wind farm plans
There are currently more than 30 wind farms in Switzerland. Photo: Alpiq

Wind turbines are “gigantic and destructive” machines, says Paysage Libre Suisse.

Vegan wins battle to be accepted by Swiss army
Antoni Da Campo will now carry out his military service. Photo: Antoni Da Campo

A Swiss man who was told he would not be accepted for military service because of his strict veganism has finally succeeded in making the army change its mind.

Geneva terror suspects to receive compensation
File photo: Emran Kassim

The Swiss public prosecutor has dropped the case against them.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: Richard Juilliard/AFP
Man makes Geneva airport bomb threat ‘for a joke’
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Solar Impulse team reveals plans for unmanned plane
File photo: Martin Abegglen
Swiss to vote on passport rules for 3rd gen foreigners
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Photo: AFP
Swiss wingsuit hotspot Lauterbrunnen won’t impose ban
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Six reasons Switzerland isn’t as boring as you might think
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Report: Switzerland one of world’s best places for girls
Photo: The Local
Thief returns Swiss cow bells worth thousands
File photo: Wikimedia Commons
One in three rapists isn’t locked up: statistics
Photo: activistin.ch
Tampon-tax protest turns Zurich fountains red
Photo: AFP
Geneva police to lift ban on bearded officers
Photo: Marcel Gillieron/AFP
Suicide chef’s restaurant keeps Michelin stars
Photo: Lara de Salis
11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
Photo:  Ivo Scholz/Swiss-image.ch
Survey: expats in Switzerland have money but few friends
Photo: AFP
Swiss press criticize Bern’s 'capitulation' on immigration
Photo: Jura Trois Lacs tourism
German ex-policeman is Swiss city’s new hermit
Photo: Dmitry A. Mottl
Ticino votes to favour local workers over foreigners
Photo: file
Some deodorants could cause breast cancer: Swiss study
Photo: Royal Savoy
In pictures: Inside the latest Swiss luxury hotel
Photo: AFP
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Photo: File
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
jobs available