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Equal Pay Day a reminder of the long way to go in the fight for equality - Louise O'Reilly TD

9 November, 2020 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said that Equal Pay Day should be a reminder to everyone that there’s a long way to go in the fight for equality.

Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Almost 50 years after the Anti- Discrimination (Pay) Act 1974, it is deeply frustrating and disappointing that the gender pay gap still persists. Indeed, according to PwC’s latest ‘Women in Work Index’, the pay differential between men and women has actually increased in the most recent years measured.

“Equal Pay Day is the day on which women in Ireland stop earning, relative to men. This year, with the current gender pay gap between men and women being 14.4 percent, Equal Pay Day falls on today- Monday, 9th November 2020.

“This effectively means that women will work for free for the last 52 days of the year, when compared with their male counterparts.

“A cursory analysis of the Irish economy shows that before the pandemic, nearly a third of women workers were in low- paid jobs and they represented almost two-thirds of all those on the minimum wage.

“Worryingly, this gap will have only deepened during this pandemic as women have been more likely to lose their jobs under lockdown restrictions due to a greater representation in the sectors hit hardest – retail and hospitality.

“The failure of successive governments to provide adequate homecare and childcare is a significant contributory factor, in that this failure often forces women to leave the workforce, or move to part-time work, to assume caring responsibilities.

“We need more than mere lip service in the fight for economic equality; we need to see real change to support all workers on low pay and in precarious work.

“In 2020, women in Ireland shouldn't still have to fight for something as basic as equal pay.

“We need to see real, radical change by finally taking this issue seriously and enacting the long overdue reforms necessary to fix this.

“Doing so will create a better, fairer and more equal society for everyone.”

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