International Equal Pay Day - 18th September 2020
A thriving and sustainable future requires a commitment
to fighting against all forms of discrimination, including
economic discrimination and discrimination against women
Working towards ensuring equal wages and productive
employment for all men and women, in addition to persons
with disabilities and the youth, is a right guaranteed under
various International human rights instruments, such as :
Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights, Article 4 of the European Social Charter
and Article 15 of African Charter on Human and Peoples'
However, there is a gap between the concept and the
practical application, requiring great united efforts by
decision makers to ensure the successful integration of equal
pay principles in national legal and policy frameworks.
Achieving equal pay is a key factor in ensuring a thriving culture of human rights. A form of systematic discrimination, the failure to ensure equal pay can possibly have long-lasting socio-economic implications for society, including an increase in relative poverty in the lives of women and persons with disabilities. Hence, with the aim of highlighting the importance of achieving equal pay for work of equal value, the United Nations officially recognized the 18th of September as International Equal Pay Day.
The commemoration of International Equal Pay Day acts as a reminder that ensuring equal pay is a pivotal aspect of ensuring gender equality and fighting against socio-economic inequalities. It is important to note that organised and united efforts of the international community is necessary. Member States, Civil Society, Feminist groups, in addition to business organizations are invited to promote equal pay in an effort to achieve economic and social empowerment of vulnerable communities.
The Corona-virus Pandemic has threatened the livelihoods of people across the globe, indifferent of their race, religion or social standing. The socio-economic impact of the pandemic has led to the slowing economic growth and a terrifying increasing unemployment rate. Moreover, statistics show that 305 million full time jobs have been lost since the start of the pandemic early this year.
The Geneva Institute for Human Rights would like to take this day as an opportunity to shed light on countries in the Middle East, North and Central Africa, where discrimination against disadvantaged groups such as women or illegal immigrants in the labor market has become a normality.
Furthermore, the Institute calls on the international community to promote equality between the sexes and to abide by international human rights instruments and ILO conventions in particular, in regards to pay equity, equality at work and minimum wages.
Unequal pay is a great injustice, not local to a specific region. Hence, it is imperative that the global community addresses the various root causes of unequal pay and ensures the elimination of discriminatory practices in the labor market.