French President Jacques Chirac has ordered his government to draw up legislation to force French companies to pay equal wages to men and women.
The French leader promised tough measures after it was revealed that in some sectors, women were earning one third less than male colleagues doing the same job, reports the Guardian.
He pledged to redress the balance within five years during his traditional New Year meeting with unions and workers’ associations at the Elysée Palace.
Chirac said he would be demanding the government draw up a law “without delay”.
“Over the last year, I have called for negotiations on the equality between men and women in the workplace,” he said. “An agreement that established interesting principles and objectives was drawn up. Now we all have to go much further.”