Equal Pay Day 2021 – 5 Tips for more Equality

Equal Pay Day- 5 tips for more Equality

“Game Changer – Make yourself strong for equal pay” is the motto of this year’s Equal Pay Day on 10 March. We are looking for real “game changers”. We are looking for courageous, creative and modern doers who can actively and innovatively convince and inspire others with their ideas.

For us at Matabooks, this day and the public debate on the topic of equality is also very important. Therefore, we would like to draw your attention to the still prevailing injustice, especially in the professional world between women and men, and inspire you to become active.
So be curious and learn more about the background of “Equal Pay Day” and with which 5 tips you can actively do something for more equality.

What is Equal Pay Day?

The gender pay gap exists throughout Europe and varies from country to country. Germany ranks second to last in Europe and thus has one of the highest gender pay gaps.

Unlike other holidays, Equal Pay Day is not tied to a fixed date but depends on the prevailing wage gap. The choice of the day is intended to draw attention to this pay gap. The day of action therefore always takes place on the date up to which women in principle work unpaid in a year for care work, for example, while men receive pay from the first day of the year. In Germany, this day has always been relatively close in the past years, as the wage gap has not changed much.

The wage gap between men and women in Germany is still 18% on average. In West Germany and Berlin, it is even 21%, whereas in East Germany it is around 7%. In the past few years, the team around the “equal pay day” has, with the help of numerous studies, defined key issues that are counted among the central complexes of causes.

What causes the gender pay gap?

  • Gender-related professions/industries (e.g. lower share of women in STEM professions)
  • Family-related interruption/reduction of employment
  • Under-valuation of occupations typical for women (perception and pay)
  • FLack of transparency with regard to wages and salaries
  • (under)conscious communication of role stereotypes

The aim of the movement and this day is to strengthen a public debate about the pay gap between women and men. The more it is talked about and exchanged, the more awareness is created and sensitised to this issue. With a new attention, the closing of the pay gap should be achieved.

Difficulties to be overcome

Other difficulties that open up in this course are the “pension gap” and the “care gap“. Since women have historically been able to work less than men, they still work less due to social obligations and earn less on average than men, and the “Pension gap” arises. This describes the fact that women are able to pay in fewer old-age security benefits and that this also affects the pension system. The “Gender Care Gap” describes the gap in the time spent by women and men on unpaid work, such as childcare, caring for family members, and housework. In 2012, the gap was 52.4% more unpaid care work done by women compared to men, which is about 87 minutes per day.

Creative approaches to solutions are sought

The most important question here is: What can be done about this inequality between men and women, especially in the world of work?
Some basic possibilities have been developed by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth together with ISS Gemeinnütziger e.V. in the project “Pay Gap, Care Gap, Pension Gap: Interlinking Key Gender Gaps for Germany for monitoring Gender Equality and taking action”. For example, in order to achieve a gender-equal distribution of unpaid care work, more comprehensive and more flexible childcare services could be created. In addition, the promotion of household-related services for the care of relatives is a conceivable solution. As is the introduction of a new kind of “full-time” for all, for example in the form of 30-35 hours per week.
Furthermore, state benefits such as the abolition of income tax class V or the further development of spousal splitting into real splitting could be measures to be considered. Nevertheless, civil society’s commitment to equality is also particularly important, for example through membership in alliances such as “Sharing Care Work Fairly“.

Tips on what you can do for more equality:

  • research and inform yourself
  • Talk to friends and family
  • Seek dialogue at work with colleagues, staff representatives and management.
  • Work against role stereotypes in everyday life (e.g. in education, conversations with friends, family & in the work environment).
  • Support associations or petitions with social commitment Petitionen 

We hope that we have been able to inspire and encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and actively stand up for gender equality.

Check out our Female Empowerment and Girl Power series and learn more about equal rights, opportunities and freedom for women.