Equal Pay Day was initiated by BPW Business & Professional Women!


Equal Pay Day logo


Women's accounts are in the red – In the European Union, the average Gender Pay Gap is 16 per cent (comparison between hourly salaries, see Eurostat http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&language=en&pcode=tsdsc340 for more information).

Women above 65 are most at risk of falling into poverty, as they earned less and have also lower pensions as result.

The BPW federations and associate clubs of Europe have been running the Equal Pay Day campaign for the past ten years and will continue to do so in the coming years.


The first Equal Pay Day was organized by BPW Germany in 2008. In 30 cities in Germany, BPW Clubs organized events with panel discussions and stands on the street where they distributed the red bags for the first time. Today, the topic equal pay has reached the mid of public debate. In 2017, the 10th anniversary will be celebrated.

In 2009, BPW International organized a side-event at the CSW in New York and launched the International Equal Pay Day Awareness campaign. This was the start for the worldwide actions that followed in the next years. Countries like Austria, Belgium, France and Switzerland organized their local Equal Pay Day events in 2009. Since then, the number of countries that join the initiative has grown extensively.


Why is the Equal Pay Day different in each country?


The date of the Equal Pay Day is calculated on the basis of the gender pay gap. The percentage of the gender pay gap is translated into days of the year. As a result, the gender pay gap varies in every country from year to year. In this way, the Equal Pay Day shows the differences among the countries. Where the pay gap is low, the Equal Pay Day is earlier in the year.

> Calculation of the Equal Pay Day: percentage of the Gender Pay Gap of 365 days of the year.

> Example for Germany: The Gender Pay Gap in Germany is at 21 per cent. 21 % of 365 days are 77 days. The next EPD will take place on March 18, 2017.


Interpretation of the Equal Pay Day

The Equal Pay Day shows the period a man would not need to work, to achieve nevertheless the same annual income like a woman with the currently existing structures of income. Or stated differently, the EPD marks the day, on which women start to earn, whereas men start to earn their wage on January 1, if both women and men start to work on January 1 of a given year.


The European Equal Pay Day

In 2011, the European Commission initiated the first European Equal Pay Day. The European EPD marked the continuous decrease of the pay gap in the European Union. In 2012, the European Equal Pay Day was on 2nd March, and in 2013, the day was held on 28th February 2013.

In 2015, the European Commission held the European Equal Pay Day for the first time in autumn, at 2nd November 2015. Find a statement by Commissioner Jourova here http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/gender-equality/news/151030_en.htm and an animated info graphic on the Gender Pay Gap in the EU and its major causes on the following website http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/gender-equality/infographs/equal-pay-day-2015/equal-pay-day/index_en.html.

The European Commission recognizes the activities of BPW federations and clubs and publishes related information on their website [http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/gender-pay-gap/national-action/raise-awareness/index_en.htm].


Find more information on Equal Pay and the Equal Pay Day in the Equal Pay Wiki: http://www.equalpay.wiki/Hauptseite

All articles in English can be seen here http://www.equalpay.wiki/Kategorie:Articles_in_English.