updated 3/8/2010 8:46:22 AM ET 2010-03-08T13:46:22

Women with children earn almost a third less than men and still face too many career obstacles, a global trade union said in a report released Monday.

The persistent imbalance in household chores can hurt women's careers, the study of the International Trade Union Confederation concluded. Women with kids earn on average 68 percent of what men make, and overall, women make 74 percent of what men bring in, according to the report.

The report is "a call to action at all levels," Diana Holland, chair of the ITUC's Women's Committee, said in a statement. The publication of the report coincided with the United Nations Day for Women's Rights.

The study said that women with kids more often work part-time than men or women without children, indicating it is hard to combine careers with the demands of a family.

Employers often break laws by paying women less than men and by not giving them enough maternity leave, the report said. Women with kids can also be denied promotions or be illegally asked to take pregnancy tests before being hired, the study found.

Women who work in rural areas or in agriculture are most at risk for unfairness at work. A similar study by the European Union released Friday showed that current European laws are not enough to stem discrimination against women in the workplace.

The study was based on reports from over 40 nations across the world.

The ITUC represents 176 million workers from 155 countries.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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