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The gender pay gap: addressing gender income inequality…

The gender pay gap: addressing gender income inequality (CSW68 Side Event)

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The Gender Pay Gap: Addressing gendered income inequality. Applying the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in times of crisis and rising poverty.
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The significant decline in extreme poverty experienced over the years had been reversed in 2020 following the detrimental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, pushing 90 million people into extreme poverty. The decline of global poverty to pre-pandemic level experienced in 2023, de facto hides uneven progress across regions and income. Since 2020, high- and upper-middle-income countries have seen a steady decrease in poverty thanks to social and fiscal stimulus programmes that supported households and frequently helped them maintain strong labour market attachment. However, between 2022 and 2023 poverty levels in low-income, fragile and conflict affected countries worsened compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The combination of multiple crises and rising inflation may derail progress even further. Given the slow and uneven progress in poverty reduction, on current trajectories 691 million people will still be living in extreme poverty by 2030. Poverty impacts women and men differently. The rights of women to participate in the economy equally and fully is still unrealized. Around 340 million women and girls are estimated to live in extreme poverty and earn less than US$2.15 a day. In most regions of the world, women are over-represented among the poorest people and under-represented among the richest. The overrepresentation of women among the poor seems intrinsically connected to historical and systemic discrimination that disproportionally impact  women's access to economic opportunities and treatment, undermine women's voice and power, and increase women's poverty.

These figures worsen when gender intersects with disability, race, class, and other personal characteristics.

What can be done? the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) recognizes that the gender pay gap and poverty are interrelated complex challenges. As such, progress can only be accelerated through cooperation and collaboration between a diverse range of stakeholders whilst adopting a holistic and intersectional approach, ensuring men and women in all their diversity have access to and enjoy decent work, with equal pay for work of equal value. EPIC offers a safe space to raise awareness, share knowledge, embrace innovation, and scale up good practices, also providing support to improve legislation, build capacity and strengthen monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to achieve equal pay for work of equal value. 

Objectives of the panel discussion:

  1. Explore the potential impact of closing the gender pay gap on addressing women's poverty.
  2. Share best practices and strategies to close the Gender Pay Gap including in times of multiple overlapping crises.
  3. Strengthen EPIC membership as well as global, regional, and national commitments to pay equity as one of the strategies to reduce poverty.
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