Equal Pay Day

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Equal Pay Day flag flying on March 21, 2014 in Alsbach, Germany

Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap. In the United States, this date symbolizes how far into the year women must work in order to earn what men earned in the previous year. The exact day differs year by year.[1] In 2019, it is April 2; and on average, It is claimed women earn $.80 for every dollar men earned.[2]

In the United States, the wage gap for women also varies by demographic and therefore also has different dates to recognize how far into the year women of color need to work to earn what men earned in the previous year.[3] In 2019, compared to white, non-Hispanic men,

  • Asian-American women make $.85 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is March 5, 2019;
  • African American and/or Black women earn $.61 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is August 22, 2019;
  • Native American women earn $.58 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is September 23, 2019;
  • Latinas earn $.53 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is November 20, 2019.

Finally, mothers make $.69 compared to fathers, and in 2019, their equal pay day is June 10, 2019. [4]


The symbolic day was first observed in 1996[1] by the National Committee on Pay Equity, a coalition of women's and civil rights organizations, labor unions, professional associations and individuals working to eliminate sex and race based wage discrimination and to achieve pay equity.[5]

The gender pay gap is defined as the average difference between men’s and women’s aggregate hourly earnings. The wage gap is due to a variety of causes, such as differences in education choices, differences in preferred job and industry, differences in the types of positions held by men and women, differences in the type of jobs men typically go into as opposed to women (especially highly paid high risk jobs), differences in amount of work experience, difference in length of the work week, and breaks in employment. These factors resolve 60% to 75% of the pay gap, depending on the source. Various explanations for the remaining 25% to 40% have been suggested, including women's lower willingness and ability to negotiate salaries and discrimination.[6][7] According to the European Commission direct discrimination either does not cause any gender wage differences or only explains a small part of it.[8]

Observance in other countries[edit]

Great Britain[edit]

In Great Britain, Equal Pay Day marks the day in the year when women effectively stop earning until the following year. In 2018, that was November 10 and the gap follows similar demographic trends to the United States, in that, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women are paid less on average than white women.[9]


Equal pay day is more widely observed in Germany than it is in the United States, or elsewhere for that matter; for example, the online presence is far greater, such as the Equal Pay Day Wiki, the Equal Pay Day Wikipedia page in German, and this Equal Pay Day informational site (all links are in German). An interesting thing to note about Equal Pay Day in Germany is that it falls on different days than it does in the United States, because the wage gap in Germany is different and also because the formula used to calculate the Equal Pay Day date is different. Whereas in 2016 Equal Pay Date in the United States was observed on April 12, in Germany it was observed on March 19.[10]

European Union[edit]

The European Commission observes Equal Pay Day based on the average gap across the bloc.[11]


Equal pay day fell on the 31st of August 2018[12]. The date was specifically chosen to represent the additional 62 days from the end of the previous financial year that women have to work to earn the same as men[12].

Other countries[edit]

The date on which Equal Pay Day is observed is different in every country due to differing formulas for observing the day and also due to different wage gaps. For example Equal Pay Day in Czech Republic is observed each year as a major two-day event involving over 2,000 people with an extensive educational program. See more on http://www.equalpayday.cz.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Equal Pay Day". www.pay-equity.org. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  2. ^ https://www.pay-equity.org/day.html
  3. ^ http://www.equalpaytoday.org/equalpaydays
  4. ^ http://www.equalpaytoday.org/equalpaydays
  5. ^ "About the National Committee on Pay Equity". www.pay-equity.org. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  6. ^ "On Equal Pay Day, key facts about the gender pay gap". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  7. ^ Blau, Francine D.; Kahn, Lawrence M. (2007-02-01). "The Gender Pay Gap Have Women Gone as Far as They Can?". Academy of Management Perspectives. 21 (1): 7–23. doi:10.5465/AMP.2007.24286161. ISSN 1558-9080.
  8. ^ "What are the causes? - European Commission". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  9. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/world/europe/britain-equal-pay-day.html
  10. ^ "Startseite". www.equalpayday.de. Retrieved 2016-04-26.
  11. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/world/europe/britain-equal-pay-day.html
  12. ^ a b "National gender pay gap lowest in 20 years | WGEA". www.wgea.gov.au. Retrieved 2019-05-03.