We’ve just held our first HK Equal Pay Day, an annual event!
Equal Pay Day [EPD] is an event held around the world, on a different date in each location, to highlight gender disparity. The date, determined by formula used to calculate the number of working days, according to the gender-based wage inequality in a given area, that women are essentially ‘working for free’ each year. Women wear red, or red and black, at EPD events to indicate their having gone from ‘being in the red’ to ‘being in the black’ — i.e., beginning to ‘earn’ for that calendar year.
In Hong Kong, the pay disparity is currently 16.7% [i.e., women are paid, on average, 16.7% less than men for comparable work], rendering the EPD 02 March — in other words, for the first two months of the year, women work ‘without pay’.
Of particular note in Hong Kong: although a 16.7% wage gap is smaller than that of many places in the world — this disparity has actually been widening since 2011, rather than decreasing.
For our 2016 EPD event, BPWHK members and guests conducted a focus group on the topic of gender disparity in Hong Kong, analysing both problem and solutions. Our EPD project leader, Sindy Leung, will also provide a public presentation on this topic at our upcoming International Women’s Day Forum on Saturday, 05 March, as well as a followup report to be sent to the Women’s Commission of HK government.
Please join us at next year’s EPD event, which takes a different form each year!