Feminism and the hourly wage
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
If you were on social media on November 9, you might have noticed something interesting trending. Many feminists took to social media—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter—using the hashtag #EqualPayDay. Curious, I decided to check what this phenomenon was all about, so I turned to Emma Watson’s Twitter for an explanation. Helpful tip: if something is going on in the feminism sphere, Emma Watson is usually on top of it with any information due to her being the United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador.
#EqualPayDay is basically meant to draw attention to the pay gap between the genders in the United Kingdom. Apparently, the average hourly wage for women is so far below what it is for men that an Oxfam study says that as of November 9, women will be working the rest of the year essentially for free.
Now, you may be asking yourselves what the gender pay gap actually is. It is the difference between male and female wages, expressed as a decimal percent of the male wage. It is measured by comparing earnings for full time workers at the end of the year. In 2012, the UK celebrated having their own gap finally drop below ten per cent; however, it rose again to over fifteen per cent by 2013.
Here in Canada, many believe that we don’t have wage inequality between the genders, but that’s not entirely true. As of January 2013, Canada’s gender pay gap is 19 per cent. In fact, when compared with 17 of our peer countries (based off of economy, population, etc.), we’re ranked 11 on the list, right below the UK and right above the United States. Norway tops the list with a gap of approximately 8 per cent, and Japan is at the bottom with a gap that is close to 30 per cent.