Equal pay days
The seminar held in Tallinn on the 18-19th of June 2013 focused on different approaches to organising Equal Pay Days with the aim to raise awareness of the gender pay gap.
Estonia described the Equal Pay Day Campaign „Tilliga ja tillita“, promoted and funded by the Estonian Association of Business and Professional Women (BPW Estonia). The main goal of the national campaign is to initiate public discussions about the gender pay gap and its impact on Estonian society on the basis of a humorous wordplay and the involvement of restaurants and coffee shops. The good practice underlines the important role of NGOs in raising public awareness, changing attitudes and attracting the media.
In Belgium the three largest trade unions have been organising Equal Pay Daysfor several years. They use humorous poster campaigns, radio and TV commercials, banners, buttons, flyers, a dedicated website, the use of social media, video clips, etc. The content and means used vary according to the union’s perspectives and in some cases the campaigns are quite provocative. The aim is to raise awareness, initiate change and to mobilise and inform a large number of target groups: trade union members, politicians, employer organisations as well as the general public.
In Spain the Council of Ministers set in 2010 a fixed date for the Equal Pay Days (whereas in most countries the dates change according to the gender pay gap statistics). It is held each year on the 22nd of February. A special logo was designed which is used inter alia on lottery tickets and post stamps. The national campaigns contribute to raising awareness of the gender pay gap in companies, the media, public sector bodies, among social partners and in society as a whole.
The seminar discussions highlighted the importance of adjusting campaigns to the different cultural contexts in Member States in order for them to be effective. Provocative campaigns for instance may work in some countries but would be counter-productive in others. However, using a light, humorous and creative way to address the issue can help to increase awareness on this complex topic. Participants furthermore stressed the importance of increasing the involvement of employers in the Equal Pay Days activities and fighting the GPG. Moreover, it was discussed whether it was more effective to have the Equal Pay Day on a fixed date (in order to make it more memorable) or on movable dates according to gender pay gap changes (which would highlight progress or non-progress and show how many days a woman needs to work more than a man in order to earn the same). Finally, ways to improve the collaboration and coordination between the European Commission, the Member States and relevant stakeholders in the organisation of national and European Equal Pay Days were also explored during the seminar.