Equal pay

SDG target 8.5 states that by 2030, achieve 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. Despite some progress, gender wage gaps persist and are even widening in some occupations. Gender pay gaps represent one of today’s greatest social injustice. 

Equal Pay

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The ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) states the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value. The concept of equal remuneration for work of equal value is broader and encompasses cases where men and women do different work. In order to determine whether different types of work have the same value, they can be assessed through a gender neutral job evaluation method.

For example, some of the jobs that have been compared in the context of evaluating equal pay for work of equal value include: caterers and cleaners (mostly women) with gardeners and drivers (mostly men); social affairs managers (mostly women) with engineers (mostly men); and flight attendants (mostly women) with pilots and mechanics (mostly men). Minimum wages in sectors or occupations where women predominate are often lower than those of men. This can partly be explained by their lack of representation in bargaining processes, but also by societal norms and the tendency to undervalue women’s work (source).

Explore our capacity development programmes on equal pay

The ILO, in partnership with UN Women and the OECD, promotes EPIC the Equal Pay International Coalition. The Coalition’s goal is to achieve equal pay for women and men everywhere. By bringing together a diverse set of actors with different areas of focus and expertise, EPIC supports governments, employers, workers, and their organizations to make concrete and coordinated progress towards this goal. EPIC is currently the only multi-stakeholder partnership working to reduce the gender pay gap at the global, regional and national levels.