Equal Pay Day was iniated by BPW Business & Professional Women!
Women's accounts are in the red - In the European Union, the average Gender Pay Gap is 17 % (comparison between hourly salaries).
Women above 65 are also the population most as risk of fall in poverty - as they earned less, they have also lower pensions.
The federations and associate clubs of Europe have been running this campaign for the past 5 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.
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 2009 the number of countries that join the initiative has grown extensively.
Why is the Equal Pay Day different in each country?
The Equal Pay Day date is a calculated date depending on the pay gap percentage in the country. With a special formular you calculate the number of days that women have to work longer than men to earn the same money as men the year before. This can be for example 49 days more because of 19 % pay gap. The date shows the differences among the countries. Where the pay gap is low the Equal Pay Day is earlier.
And it also shows the development over the years. When the date moves earlier in the year this shows a decrease of the pay gap. If it moves to a later date, this unfortunately means an increase of the pay gap.
The European Equal Pay Day
The EU commission started in 2011 to publish a calculated European Equal Pay Day on 5th March 2011. In 2012 the European Equal Pay Day was on 2nd March and in 2013 the day was on 28 February 2013. This shows a decrease of the average pay gap in Europe to 16.2 % in 2013.
They recognize the actions of BPW federations and publish them on their website.
Equal Pay Day at the international level
BPW Federations are also active outside of Europe. For Example Australia, New Zealand and Kanada started also in 2009 with Equal Pay Day Events.
You can find more information on the special Equal Pay Day International website: www.equalpayday.org