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Cuts in public sector pay and employment: the impact on women in the public sector

19 May, 2013
Across Europe, governments have cut sector pay and jobs in the public sector in response to the financial crisis, which became evident in the autumn of 2008. Although the timing has varied – the Baltic states were among the first to reduce spending, while other countries like Spain and Portugal acted later – these cuts have damaged the living standards and future prospects of millions of public sector workers.

They have been particularly harmful to women, who in most countries make up the majority of those employed in the public sector.

This report, commissioned by EPSU from the Labour Research Department  (LRD) looks at what has happened in eight countries where governments have pursued a policy of public sector cuts: the Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Spain and the UK.

It finds that, where the evidence is available, it shows that women have lost pay and jobs, and that in some cases they have been more severely affected than men.

However, what is also striking is the extent to which up-to-date information on the position of women in the public sector is unavailable, particularly in respect of earnings.

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