The United Nations (UN) International Equal Pay Day is annually observed across the world on 18 September to represent the longstanding efforts towards the achievement of equal pay for work of equal value.
- The day also aligns with the UN’s commitment to human rights and the eradication of all forms of discrimination, including gender-based disparities against women and girls.
18th September 2023 marks the observance of the 4th International Equal Pay Day.
i.On 18 December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/74/142 and proclaimed the 18th of September of every year as the International Equal Pay Day.
ii.The first-ever International Equal Pay Day was observed on 18 September 2020.
What is Gender Pay Gap?
The gender pay gap, also known as the gender wage gap, is a form of gender discrimination that is widespread throughout the world.
- Women are generally paid around 20% less than men for the same job in a similar position globally.
Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC):
i.The Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) is led by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), UN Women(UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
ii.The goal of the Coalition is to achieve equal pay for women and men everywhere.
iii.By bringing together a diverse set of actors with different areas of focus and expertise, EPIC supports governments, employers, workers, and their organizations to make concrete and coordinated progress toward this goal.
- EPIC is currently the only multi-stakeholder partnership working to reduce the gender pay gap at the global, regional, and national levels.
i.According to the OECD’s book titled “Joining Forces for Gender Equality, What is Holding us Back?” (2023):
- By 2060, closing gaps in labour force participation and working hours could boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by over 9% across OECD countries, adding about 0.23% points to average annual growth.
- Almost 60% of public employees are women but they make up less than 40% of managers in public employment.
ii.As per ILO and World Health Organisation(WHO), Women in the health and care sector face a larger gender pay gap than in other economic sectors, earning an average of 24% less than peers who are men.
iii.As per the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)’s report on Care: Putting the Care Economy in Place: Trade Unions in Action Around the World (2022), the ILO estimates that globally:
- Investing in universal childcare and long-term care would create 280 million jobs by 2030 and another 19 million by 2035.
- It would boost the employment rate of women by 78%, and 84% of these jobs would be formal.
- An annual spend of 4% of total GDP would create millions of jobs that could be paid for, in part, from tax earnings that would rise because of increased incomes and employment, reducing the cost closer to 3% of GDP
iv.According to the data from UN Women:
- It is estimated that only 28% of women employed worldwide get to enjoy paid maternity leave.
- Globally, nearly 65% of people above retirement age without any regular pension are women.
i.A High-Level Pledging Event was organised to mark International Equal Pay Day 2023 on September 18 2023 at the w. Westin New York Grand Central, the United States of America (USA).
- The event entitled: “Standing up for equal pay – celebrating achievements and understanding challenges”, aimed to give countries an opportunity to make new equal pay pledges. It was organized by the EPIC, which is led by the ILO, the UN Women, and the OECD.
ii.On the occasion of International Equal Pay Day, an OECD Emerging Markets Network (EMnet)- EPIC webinar entitled ‘‘How companies can move the needle through the equal pay international coalition.” was organized on 11th September 2023.
About UN Women:
Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the UN– Ms. Sima Sami Bahous
Headquarters– New York, USA
In July 2010, the UNGA created UN Women, the UN’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.