“Thank you” doesn’t pay the bills

24 Mar 2021

The Government of Switzerland in collaboration with the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), organized a virtual side event on March 17, 2021 on the margins of the 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65).

Representatives from governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, as well as international organizations highlighted issues that widen the gender pay gap and shared practical solutions in addressing these issues. During the discussion, panelists highlighted the fact that the gender pay gap was even greater for women who suffer from intersecting and multiple discrimination, such as migrants, ethnic minorities, and women with disabilities. They also emphasized the following as key contributors to the gender pay gap:

Under representation of women in leadership positions;

Over representation of women in undervalued and unpaid sectors, such as health care, social work, and elderly care, and its resulting economic insecurities; and

Lack of accessible, affordable and high quality care infrastructures.

On reducing the gender pay gap, several recommendations were made, including the importance of:

Strong political will, and collaboration between the social partners and stakeholders from the public and private sectors;

Sharing of experiences across countries, creating accessible, affordable and high quality care infrastructures including childcare facilities, and facilitating flexible working arrangements, including the introduction of parental leave;

Collective agreements, wage transparency policies, reporting tools, audits, and gender-disaggregated statistics;

Combatting gender stereotypes, masculinity norms, and protection against sexual harassment.

Some of the statements made by speakers during the event, may be accessed as follows : ILO, OECD, UN Women , the Government of Ukraine.