CSW: Gender pay gaps in the public and private sectors: How can equal pay for work of equal value be achieved in the changing world of work?

Statement by Children and Equality Minister Solveig Horne at Ministerial RoundTable, 13 March 2017.

| Commission on the Status of Women

In general, men and women are equally paid for the same jobs in Norway.

Most of the gender pay gap in Norway can be explained by the gender-segregated labour market. Girls and boys choose different educations, which lead to different jobs. Girls dominate health and care educations, while boys dominate construction, electro technique and industrial production.

More women than men work in the public sector, where the pay is lower than in the private sector, and more women than men work part time.

To reduce the gender pay gap, we need to encourage boys and girls to make untraditional choices of education.

The Norwegian Government supports projects in order to stimulate to change in a positive way;

We support a project called "Girls and technology" financially. The goal is to increase the number of girls choosing an education in technology. 

Since 2014 Men in Health has been a national project. The goal is to recruit unemployed, but motivated men age 20-55 to a job as health and care workers.

Strong anti-discrimination laws are crucial to reduce the gender pay gap. Such laws should give a strong protection against pregnancy related discrimination. They should also secure the right to return to the same position and pay after parental leave.

In Norway, the social partners agree on wages through annual negotiations, in which the government does not interfere.

The government and the social partners must work together – this is not a problem for the Government to solve on its own.