On 22 February 2017, PES Women together with zij-kant Belgium and ABVV launched a European Equal Pay Day campaign. On the initiative of zij-kant, the progressive women’s movement and co-organiser of the Belgian Equal Pay Day, creative agency mortierbrigade has created a playful short film to depict an unorthodox way to close the gender pay gap – asking girls to start their working careers ten years earlier than men, so they can earn the same as men in their lifetime. The film title is ‘Start sooner for an equal pay later’.
European facts on the gender pay gap
In Europe, women earn 16% less than men (on average gross hourly income of full and part-time workers, Eurostat, 2014). This means that, in order to earn the same over her lifetime, a woman would have to work ten years longer than a man in an equivalent role – or start working ten years earlier.
The differences between European member states are big. In Poland, Malta, Slovenia, Italy and Luxemburg, the pay gap is under 10%, while in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany and Austria, the gap reaches over 20%. Estonia falls to the bottom of the list with 28%. Neighbouring countries are doing worse than Belgium (10%), with 16% (the Netherlands), 15%, (France) and 18% (the UK).
The pay gap is a problem in and for all member states. This is why zij-kant and PES Women have created the European Equal Pay Day video clip, supported by ABVV, the socialist union of Belgium. The agency mortierbrigade, who created the Belgian Equal Pay Day clips since 2005, worked with production company Hamlet to create a high-quality short film, raising awareness on an international level about the gender pay gap.