The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 9, 2013. This date symbolizes how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012.
Ontario’s gender pay gap according to Statistics Canada 2010 and the Ontario Pay Equity Commission ‘s figures is 28% (based on all male and female average annual earnings (including part time workers). The gap is much higher for women of colour, women with disabilities or Aboriginal women. The US, Europe, Australia & other countries have “government proclaimed” Why don’t we?
Wear Red - On Equal Pay Day wear red to mark how far women are in the “red” when it comes to their pay.
Ask Premier Wynne to officially declare an Annual Equal Pay Day starting with April 9, 2013. Like President Obama’s Equal Pay Day proclamation such a day will “recognize the full value of women’s skills and their significant contribution to the labour force, acknowledge the injustice of wage discrimination and join efforts to achieve equal pay.” The goal is that Equal Pay day will be earlier each year if addressed.
Talk to your friends, family and community about the ongoing issue of the wage gap for women. On Twitter? Use the #EqualPayDay hashtag.
April 9, 2013 marks Equal Pay Day, the day when women and men around the province will recognize the wage gap between working women and men, and offer remedies to address pay inequity. The pay gap in Ontario according to Statistics Canada 2010 and the Ontario Pay Equity Commission figures was 28%. The Stats Can figure is based on all Ontario male and female average annual earnings (including part time workers). The pay gap can be measured in different ways, based on full time full year annual earnings as of 2010 Ontario pay gap is about 24%. Such gaps are amongst the highest in the world.
The rights of women to equal pay for work of equal value and equal treatment in pay and employment opportunities are internationally recognized human rights standards, which Canada has ratified, and bind Ontario.
Women represent 48% of Ontario’s paid labour force. With more families relying on women’s paychecks for their livelihood, the politicians and employers must address the pay gap for the sake of Ontario families and their financial stability. The purpose of the day will be as Obama declaed in his proclamation for US Equal Pay Day to “recognize the full value of women’s skills and their significant contribution to the labour force, acknowledge the injustice of wage discrimination and join efforts to achieve equal pay.”
Here are four ways to close the pay gap:
First, employers, as required by the Pay Equity Act and Human Rights Code must examine and correct their pay practices which pay women’s work less than comparable men’s work. Employers should have plans to close any pay gaps and then make sure those pay gaps don’t re-open and changed circumstances are accounted for.
Second, we need to re-instate employment equity laws to make sure jobs, training, supports and promotion opportunities are available to women along with affordable and accessible and affordable childcare.
Third, women must stand up for equal pay and for themselves. Employers who won’t ensure their women workers receive fair pay and opportunities should be exposed. Union representation is one of the quickest ways to close the gap in workplaces. Women in unions earn 35% more than women in non-union workplaces.
A fourth way to close the pay gap is through laws and policies that recognize the value and worth of all women no matter the sector. Many sectors of the economy are female predominant particularly those providing public services – eg. community and home care services, libraries and childcare. Women in these jobs face pay discrimination because their sector is underpaid compared to other male-dominated sectors. Government funding of these sectors must properly value the women workers providing these important public services.
Pay equity is a growing national movement. Women and men around the country recognize the importance of measures to close the pay gap. Pay inequity penalizes families, especially during hard times of economic hardship so we must address it when trying to boost the economy. At the rate we are gong, the wage gap will not close for another 50 years. Women and their families cannot afford to wait that long!
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