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Women in New Zealand have to work nearly an extra six weeks on average to earn the same yearly amount as men did in 2019.

Today, February 12, is Red Bag Day, also known as Equal Pay Day.

It marks the period of extra days women need to work on average to make up the pay gap on men.

The day is recognised in many countries around the world. The exact day varies depending on the gender pay gap in that particular country.

The gender pay gap is a high-level indicator of the difference between women and men's earnings. It compares the average earnings of women and men in full- and part-time work.

Pay discrimination has been outlawed in New Zealand since the 1972 Equal Pay Act.

However, 48 years later, women in New Zealand still earn on average 11.9 percent less than men for every hour worked — 79 cents for every dollar men made in 2019.

Business and Professional Women (BPW) is marking the day with equal pay day red bags.

BPW is an international women's group with federations and branches all over the world.

Its aims are to “encourage, support, advocate and undertake a number of activities which improve the quality and business life of women”.

Gisborne BPW president Catherine Chrisp says there have been some heartening developments in the last few years.

“There are big differences being made for women but you can see from the gap that we're not there yet.

“A gender pay gap is neither economically sensible nor socially justifiable, and Equal Pay Day is a great way of highlighting this basic unfairness.”

The Gisborne branch welcomes inquiries and new members. Anyone who wishes to join can contact Mrs Chrisp on 0212209678.

SIX WEEKS EXTRA: Today is the day women in New Zealand would have to work until to earn the same amount on average as men over 2019 — an extra six weeks. It is called Equal Pay Day or Red Bag Day. Above are members of the Gisborne Business and Professional Women, who are highlighting the day. Picture supplied

  1. MaleMattersUSA says:

    I’m pretty sure the reasons women on average earn less than men in the United States are the same reasons women earn less than men in New Zealand. See:

    “Why the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and all other equal-pay efforts have failed” http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/