The Australian National Committee for UN Women is calling on Australian men to donate $266 to mark Equal Pay Day today.
Women make up 70% of the world’s poor. The reasons for this are complex, but it starts with an undervaluing of women’s contributions. One of the most ‘tell-tale’ examples of this undervaluing is the persistent pay gap between men and women’s wages. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, in May 2013, the gender pay gap in Australia stood at 17.5 per cent.
The average weekly ordinary time earnings of women working full-time were $1,252.20 per week, compared to men who earned an average weekly wage of $1,518.40 per week, making women’s average earnings $266.20 per week less than men.
The reasons for the gap include: women working in different industries to men, women being over represented in low paying occupations, the undervaluing of women’s skills and women taking career breaks more often than men.
The gap varied by sector with the health care and social assistance sector demonstrating the highest gender pay gap (32.3%), followed by the financial and insurances services sector (31.4%) and the professional, scientific and technical services sector (30.1%).
Donating the equivalent of 17% of your salary for a day, week or even a month will demonstrate that you acknowledge that women deserve equality and that you are committed to closing the gender pay gap.
The Australian National Committee for UN Women is calling attention to the pay gap between men and women in Australia as part of a broader campaign on the impacts of economic inequality on women and girls in the lead up to the International Day of a Girl Child on October 11, 2013.
The United Nations has declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
“We’ve launched our campaign on Equal Pay Day because it serves to highlight the systemic inequality girls face from birth,” Executive Director of the Australian National Committee, Julie McKay said.
“Every day, girls across the world, including in Australia, experience gender discrimination and this continues into their adult lives. A gender pay gap reflects not only a lack of access to economic security, but broader issues around women’s role in society.
“Many girls never have the opportunity to participate in the workforce and those that do often experience inequality in pay, conditions and opportunities because of their gender.
“We are encouraging everyone, particularly men, to commit to donating 17 per cent of their earnings for the day, week or month before October 11 and help us reach our $20,000 target before October 11.”
To make a contribution visit www.unwomen.org.au and donate today. Follow the conversation on Twitter @unwomenaust using #equalpayday and #dayofgirlchild.
Where will your money go?
$1040 can support girls who have been rescued from sex trafficking, giving them shelter, counselling, education and hope for the future.
$520 can fund a community-wide education program to end the practice of female genital mutilation cutting.
$125 can support school teachers to educate students about forced marriage and early pregnancies.
$99 can provide a pregnant girl with medical care to ensure that she and her child are healthy and safe.
· Over 60 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage before the age of 18
· 125 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
· 1.2 million children are being trafficked each year – many of these children are girls forced into sex trafficking
· Pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged 15 to 19
· Literacy rates for girls in many countries remain low – just 12% of Afghan women aged 15 and over are literate