What is Equal Pay Day all about anyway?
On April 19, 2016, The Ontario Equal Pay Coalition marks Equal Pay Day – the day when a typical woman's earnings have caught up to what a man made last year. For full-time work the wage gap is currently getting bigger, not smaller, in Canada. In 2009 women earned 74.4% of what men earned, in 2010 it was 73.6%, in 2011 it was 72%.
The wage gap exists across all sectors and education levels and is worse for marginalized women, like aboriginal and immigrant women. The Equal Pay Coalition reveals that the average pay gap between men and women stands at 29.4 per cent in Ontario – a gap that shadows women every step of the way up the income ladder.
Earlier this year, Oxfam Canada and the CCPA released Making Women Count – a report that examines how women face persistent and unique economic challenges. The wage gap is part of the problem – but it’s not the only thing. In Canada, women make up 59% of minimum wage earners and 37% of single mothers live in poverty. The industries women find themselves working in are also undervalued: truck drivers (mostly men) are paid on average $45k/yr while Early Childhood Educators (mostly women) make only $25k/yr. Women also continue to handle the majority of unpaid care work like childcare and eldercare.
Don’t worry - there is good news
Oxfam’s research shows that a few actions could make a huge difference to the lives of millions living in poverty – in Canada and around the world. Inequality is not inevitable. Much can be done to even it up, and make the world a fairer place.
But we need people like you behind us.
To learn more about what kind of policies are needed to stop rising inequality, read our Making Women Count report.
Join our Even It Up campaign as we call on decision-makers to build an economy that works for everybody.