Zonta International calls for the end of gender discrimination on International Equal Pay Day, 18 September
On the first-ever International Equal Pay Day, Zonta International recognizes the longstanding efforts toward achieving equal pay for work of equal value and emphasizes its commitment to end discrimination against women and girls.
This year’s theme for International Equal Pay Day is "Building back a better future of work by ensuring pay equity." Globally, women earn an average of 77 cents for every U.S. dollar men earn for work of equal value—with an even wider wage gap for women with children. At the current rate, it will take another 70 years to close the global gender pay gap.
"Gender equality cannot be achieved until women are paid equally compared to their male counterparts," said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck. "Zonta International is committed to advocating for equal pay for women in the 62 countries where we have active Zonta clubs."
While women account for more than 40% or more of the labor force in many countries according to Catalyst, they are often concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill work with greater job insecurity and are vastly underrepresented in senior leadership and decision-making roles. To combat these challenges, Zonta provides scholarships, fellowships and awards to women pursuing careers in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace engineering, business, public affairs and technology. By expanding educational opportunities for women and girls in these professions, Zonta hopes to increase the number of women in leadership roles.
Zonta International is also a strong supporter of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal No. 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. According to the UN, the SDGs "promote decent work and economic growth by seeking full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value."
It will take a global effort to achieve equal pay. Zonta International encourages all of its clubs and members to advocate for equal pay in their countries and more broadly for the Sustainable Development Goals. Together, we can achieve this important milestone in human rights.
18 September 2020