Thursday, 08 September 2016 06:30

Equal Pay Day is a reminder of gender inequality

Today is Equal Pay Day, which marks the extra time from the end of the financial year that women have to work in order to earn the same amount as men.

New calculations from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency put the national gender pay gap at 16.2 per cent. That’s a decrease of 1.7 per cent over the previous 12 months, but it’s still a substantial gap.

On average, men working full-time earned $1,613.60 and women earned $1,352.50 – a difference of $261.10 per week.

There are many factors that influence the gender pay gap, including stereotypes about the sort of work that men and women ‘should’ do, and the way that they engage with the workforce.

For example, the unpaid caring and domestic responsibilities that largely fall to women mean they are overrepresented in part-time and casual work, and have limited opportunities for management or senior roles.

And awareness of attitudes towards women’s place in society starts young, as the recent uproar over a girls’ t-shirt demonstrates.

We now know that gender inequality is one of the main factors in violence against women. That’s even more reason to close the gender pay gap. Let’s hope this year’s slight shrinkage is continued more strongly next year.

Equal Pay is a family issue posters and postcards are available from the Commission by request. Or you can spread the word by sending a free e-card to a friend or family member.

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