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pension savings between women and men in Denmark. When we see these results, we can rightly ask: Is it because men are worth more than women? If we want to provoke and use a kind of economic language – and based on our recent knowledge of women’s and men’s incomes and pensions – we could say that the differences appearing from Table 1.5 and Figure 1.5 are indicative of the man being a more attractive product on the market than the woman, and that is why he is traded at a different price than the woman. I.e. he is paid more for his labour than the woman. A simplistic economic perception of women and men as goods traded on a market may, however, not be entirely watertight, and we may need to look elsewhere to find answers to those differences in income and pensions that we see in Table 1.4 and Figure 1.5. One explanation is that we have a highly gender-divided labour market in Denmark with more men than women working in the private sector, where pay levels may be higher, but also lower than in the public sector where many women are employed. Other explanations for the diffe- rences could be that men work more hours on the job than women, and that they work in sectors, such as engineering and science, where pay is higher. Table 1.4 Average disposable income for women and men in Denmark. 2013-2015. DKK 18 CHAPTER 1 Furthermore, more men than women have high-ranking positions in the hierarchy and therefore much higher salaries, which contributes to increasing the ave- rage pay for men. Income differences also have an impact on pensions because pension payments are often adjusted for income, which means that the employer pays a certain percentage of an employee’s salary to a pension scheme every month. The higher the salary, the higher the pension paid by the employer. Regardless of the economic explanations we choose to apply, the fact is that there are economic differences between women and men in Denmark in the late 2010s. Nevertheless, it is important to point out that there has been a highly positive trend in gender equality over the past three or four decades and that this trend appears to continue in coming years. We can, however, continue to note differences and inequalities between women and men and therefore could rightly ask why politicians do not change this. Let us therefore look at gender equality in a political perspective. 2013 2014 2015 Men and women, total 209,655 214,009 220,185 Men 229,016 233,132 240,836 Women 190,887 195,461 200,119 Note: Disposable income is the portion of income available after the tax has been paid. Source: Statistics Denmark.


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