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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 9 - 15  > Efforts needed to eradicate gender inequalities in wages
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2020 September 9 - 15 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Efforts needed to eradicate gender inequalities in wages

September 11, 2020

Akahata ‘current’ column

It was on February 22 in Switzerland, on March 16 in Germany, and on March 31 in the United States. What these dates symbolize is not an anniversary but the “Equal Pay Day” which an international NGO working on gender inequality issues announces every year in order to visualize the gender pay gap issue.

If both women and men start to work on January 1 of a given year, women must work longer to earn the same as men earned in the year due to the gender wage gap. The “Equal Pay Day” marks the day on which women finally catch up with what men earned the previous year.

The United Nations has published data showing that women globally earn 20% less than men. The realization of equal pay for work of equal value is one of the components of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The UN warns that it will take 70 years to eliminate the gender pay gap, if global efforts remain at the current level.

In response to growing public criticism against gender pay inequality, the UN General Assembly last year designated September 18 as the International Equal Pay Day. Various organizations, which are busy with preparations to celebrate the first International Equal Pay Day, have been appealing to governments throughout the world to take necessary actions including enacting laws to shrink wage gaps and pushing corporations to release their wage data.

The Japanese “Equal Pay Day” this year was on May 6, far later than that of the United States and European nations. At a time when the ongoing pandemic hit women particularly hard, the removal of wage inequality is a pressing task.

In New Zealand, the government led by the prime minister, who promises to abolish historic inequalities for women, has approved an amendment bill which betters the existing law to ensure that workers are not paid less because of their gender. The need is not only for Japan but also for the world to make efforts to create a society free from all sorts of gender inequalities in a post-COVID-19 era.

Past related articles:
> Abe gov’t departs from its 30% target for women in leadership roles by 2020 [July 27, 2020]
> Amid coronavirus crisis, number of women non-regular workers decreases by 1 million [May 31, 2020]
> Workplace gender gap hinders women workers from continuing careers [June 21, 2019]
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