Zonta International commemorates International Equal Pay Day

On 18 September, Zonta International is commemorating International Equal Pay Day. Established by the Equal Pay International Coalition in 2019, the day is dedicated to raising awareness about unequal pay to women, pushing to close the gender pay gap and calling for actions to achieve pay equity globally.

Though women now make up nearly 40% of the global workforce, the gender pay gap is estimated at around 20% globally. The United Nations estimates that at current rates, it will take approximately 257 years to close this gap.

“More than 100 years ago, Zonta’s founding members were among the first generation of college-educated women and working women. Today, our members are continuing to work toward gender equity as we call for equal pay globally,” said Zonta International President Ute Scholz.

Even in countries with laws that mandate equal pay for equal work, women often work in low-paying sectors where they are undervalued and underpaid.

According to the International Labour Office (ILO), the best way to pursue gender pay equity is “through a policy package that promotes an inclusive and transparent labor market alongside specific measures to address gender pay equity.”

Zonta International is a strong proponent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which address the need to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. The SDGs also promote decent work and economic growth by seeking full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men.

On International Equal Pay Day, Zonta International calls on its clubs and members to promote equal pay for equal work and the economic empowerment of women and girls.