Equal Pay Day marks how many additional days women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. This year, Equal Pay Day is being marked on April 11th in Ontario.
Unifor is part of the Equal Pay Coalition-Ontario and calls on the Ontario government, and government of all levels, to implement a comprehensive strategy to close the gender wage gap by 2025. The Ontario government is the only government in Canada that recognizes Equal Pay Day.
Women in Canada make roughly 30 per cent less than men. The gap is larger for women who face systemic discrimination because they are Aboriginal, workers of colour, LGBTQ, elderly or have disabilities. This widespread discrimination is unacceptable. Active intervention is needed by governments, business and all employers to change practices that drive women’s economic inequality and poverty.
The gender wage gap persists due to gender discrimination on the job, and is exacerbated by the over-representation of women in minimum wage and part-time jobs. Women make up 60 per cent of minimum-wage workers and 70 per cent of part-time workers. Women are 19 times more likely than men to cite caring for children as the primary reason for working part-time.
Unifor supports a diversity of demands to close the gender wage gap across Canada. The union advocates for a $15 minimum wage, reforms of outdated employment standards legislation, easier paths to unionization, universal access to public child care and opening up opportunities for women in underrepresented sectors.
Wear red on April 11th because the gender pay gap leaves women, “in the red” and send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org . Take action to close the gap with these three steps.
1. Attend or host an Equal Pay Day Event
2. Share these graphics to show how to Close the Gap
3. Contact your Provincial and Federal representatives and ask that they take meaningful actions to finally end the gender wage gap. Start with this letter demanding action on universal child care and paid domestic violence leave.