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European Commission to tackle rising gender pay gap

The European Commission has launched an EU-wide campaign to tackle the gender pay gap, after finding women earn 17.4% than men on average across Europe.

The situation is worse in the UK, where women earn 21% less than their male counterparts.

The report shows the pay gap reduces women's lifetime earnings and pensions later in life as 21% of women are at risk of poverty after the age of 65 compared to 16% of men.

The comes despite the fact the employment rate for women is rising and women represent 59% of all new university graduates.

EU equal opportunities commissioner Vladimir Spidla, said: "The gender pay gay has multiple causes and needs multiple solutions. Tackling it requires action at all levels and a commitment from everyone concerned, from employers and trade unions to national authorities and every citizen.

"Our campaign will make people more aware of why women in Europe still earn so much less than men and what we can do about it,"

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the pay gap and promote good practice around Europe. It will include a campaign toolbox for employers and trade unions, a website, posters and a press campaign.

This comes just days after research from Accenture showed women are less likely than men to ask for a pay rise or promotion, even though they feel successful in their careers.