President's Corner

Zonta International denounces gender pay gap on US Equal Pay Day

3 April 2017

Zonta International denounces gender pay gap on US Equal Pay Day


Tuesday, 4 April, is Equal Pay Day in the USA, the day when women and men around the country recognize the wage gap between working women and men, and offer remedies to address pay inequity.

The date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2016, women in the United States make 79.6 cents for every dollar men make.

Equal Pay Day shines a spotlight on pay equity in the U.S., but the gender pay gap is a worldwide problem. On average, women globally make just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. With the current gap at 23 percent, it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap, according to the 2016 International Labour Organization (ILO) Report Women at Work

As an organization that works to improve the economic and professional status of women, Zonta International believes in pay equity, and finds the global gender pay gap unacceptable.

Through our advocacy work with the UN Committee and the important actions our clubs take, Zonta is working to achieve Sustainable Development Goal No. 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. This goal will not be met until women earn equal to their male counterparts.

In March, nearly 70 Zontians from more than 20 countries joined me in representing Zonta at the 61st Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the largest inter-governmental forum on women’s rights and gender equality. This year’s theme focused on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

Coinciding with the CSW’s opening day, the ILO and UN Women Global Equal Pay Coalition launched the Equal Pay Platform of Champions. Zonta International fully supports the Platform’s goal, which is to call for increased support by proactively reaching out to decision and policy makers.

Ahead of the launch, UN Women kicked off its #StopTheRobbery campaign to mobilize ordinary people and raise awareness about the gender pay gap.

Click here to read more about the Platform and the #StopTheRobbery campaign, and advocate for legislation and policies that promote the same wage for the same work.




Susanne von Bassewitz is the 2018-2020 President of Zonta International and the Zonta International Foundation.

»Read her biography.