European Unequal Pay Day Launch event “The Gender Pay Gap: What can you do? What can the EU do?”
Event Timing: 5th November 2021 4:00 PM (CET)
Live-streamed on PES Women Facebook page

The European Unequal Pay Day is a symbolic day to raise awareness on the fact that female workers in Europe still earn on average 14.1% less than men. The day marks the date from which women effectively start working for free until the end of the year. On national level, this day can fall earlier or later in the year, depending on the respective gender pay gap in each Member State.

To mark this day, PES Women and its Flemish member organisation ZIJkant have developed a public campaign featuring a promotional video and visuals by the famous Belgian photographer Jef Boes. It shows real young families in their houses, coping with the COVID-19 situation, with the message “share tasks equally at home, for equal opportunities at work”. Because one of the main causes of the gender pay gap is the unequal share of household work and care responsibilities undertaken by women. It negatively impacts women’s careers, and the situation has only worsened during the pandemic. By raising awareness of this problem and encouraging a fairer sharing of responsibilities, we can begin to close the gender pay gap.

At this online launch event, our experts will discuss how to tackle the gender pay gap by focusing on ‘what you can do?’ as well as on ‘what the EU can do?’. The debate will involve focusing on what individual families and feminist allies can do concretely, such as speaking up and sharing best practices, combat stereotypes in the home and improve sharing of tasks. What can employers and companies do, but also institutions through legislative and structural changes at the European and national level, such as implementing the work-life balance & pay transparency directives, improve investment in the care economy, support projects to combat gender stereotypes etc.?

• Opening by PES Women President Zita Gurmai and ZIJkant Secretary General Vera Claes
• Presentation of campaign video
• Introduction by moderator Inga Verhaert, President of ZIJkant
• Henrike von Platen, President Fair Pay Innovation Lab
• Presentation of regional best practice by Loredana Capone, PES CoR, President of the regional council of Puglia, Italy
• Francisca Mullens, Junior researcher at Department of Sociology at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Summary, Q&A
• Closing keynote by Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality
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