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Women’s position in workforce ‘vulnerable’, equality institute warns

12:00 01/06/2017

The position of women in the labour market remains “vulnerable”, according to the Institute for the Equality between Women and Men (IEFH), after it was revealed that the number of complaints of workplace discrimination on grounds of gender increased last year by 50% on the year before.

The IEFH received 549 cases in 2016, of which 231 were requests for information and 318 complaints – mainly concerning gender discrimination, discrimination of transgender people and restricted access to goods and services. In 18 cases, the IEFH appeared as a party in civil legal cases.

Most of the complaints came from women. Complaints from men dealt mainly with hiring, while those from women covered discrimination at every stage of working life. One in seven complaints concerned transgender issues, including access to health care, problems with insurance coverage and discrimination at work.

“A woman could be rejected for a job because she has a child and is therefore seen by an employer as being insufficiently flexible,” said deputy director Liesbet Stevens. “And of course there are cases where women are being paid less for the same work as their male colleagues, as well as cases where women face discrimination when they try to break through the glass ceiling,” she said.

Photo: Ingimage

Written by Alan Hope (Flanders Today)