On 18th September, 2020, United Nations celebrated the International Equal Pay Day for the first time. It marks an important milestone in the fight for gender equality. Women have faced the wrath of patriarchy for centuries. They are subjected to discrimination, misogyny, sexism, and whatnot, the list is never ending. However, with changing times, it becomes important to challenge this deep-rooted notion.
Across the world, women are paid significantly less than men for the same work they do. Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. This implies a gender wage gap of 23%. The gap widens all the more for women with children. At this rate, it will take about 257 years to close the gender wage gap.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres tweeted, “Equal pay is essential, not only for women but to build a world of dignity and justice for all.”
There is a higher concentration of women in lower-paid, lower-skilled work with lower job securities. This apparently affects their presence in decision making roles. As a result of the sexist notion of women being the ‘homemakers’, they carry out at least twice the household work than men. While a lot of acts have been passed worldwide towards realizing an equal pay, their applicability is questioned. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations address the need to achieve gender equality. Thus, equal pay serves to be an important milestone.
Equal pay is a human right. Barring women from the same is a shameful act. It merely establishes the fact that women are only good for raising children and looking after households. The society, thus, has failed to recognize women as an individual. This leads to a lower representation of women in the workforce. And the vicious cycle continues. Thus, realizing the need for equal pay is an important step towards creating an equal world.