FRANKFURT (AFP) - Women in Germany earned 23 percent less than men in 2011, one of the widest gender pay gaps in Europe and one which has remained unchanged for the past six years, official data showed on Wednesday. In terms of gross monthly wages, the pay gap for the whole of Germany stood at 23 percent in 2011, unchanged since 2006, the national statistics office Destatis calculated.

Women in western Germany earned as much as 25 percent less than their male counterparts, while the gap in the former communist east of the country was much smaller at 6.0 percent. Two thirds of the difference could be explained by the fact that women tend to be employed in lower-paid and less qualified jobs, the statisticians said.  Comparing similar sorts of jobs with the same level of qualification, the wage gap stood at 8.0 percent for the whole of Germany, Destatis calculated.