Equal Pay Day across the world

Australia, we are not alone in our observance of Equal Pay Day!

Each year, many different countries across the globe mark their own versions of Equal Pay Day in the calendar year and put their own spin on how to highlight the gender pay gap.

In Australia, Equal Pay Day was an initiative of the Agency’s predecessor the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency. First calculated in 2008, the annual initiative has been embraced Australia-wide.

2009 Equal Pay Day postcard front
2009 Equal Pay Day postcard back

Let us take a look at some of Australia’s sister Equal Pay Days.

United Kingdom

The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity for gender equality and women’s rights, heads up their Equal Pay Day actions and calculates the UK’s gender pay gap each year.

Although the core objective of the UK’s Equal Pay Day is to highlight the gender pay gap, they also take a slightly different approach by paying particular attention to other pay gaps – those experienced by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) women, as well as disabled women.

On their 2018 Equal Pay Day, the Fawcett Society encouraged women to set out of office replies saying they were unavailable until the following year because they were “working for free” from that date.

The European Union

The European Commission calculates the gender pay gap across the EU using figures from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, and takes point on Equal Pay Day activities.

As part of their efforts to highlight the problem of the gender pay gap, the EU also observe Equal Pension Day. This is calculated by translating member states’ retirement savings gaps between men and women into the number of extra days it would women to work to receive the same amount of retirement savings as men.

United States of America

The USA’s Equal Pay Day kicked off in 1996, organised by the National Committee on Pay Equity.

Today, it’s separated into different days to demonstrate how the gender pay gap affects African American, Latina and Native American women differently.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has really leant into Equal Pay Day commemoration, with the government and a number of corporate sponsors organising a two day conference in the capital, Prague, each year.

The conference includes mentoring sessions, networking opportunities, and a chance to hear from over 30 speakers who are leaders in pay equity in the Republic.


Instead of marking Equal Pay Day each year, the Swedes mark it every day!

The Swedish Women’s Lobby lead the 16:02 Movement, which aims to raise awareness of the fact that due to the country’s 12% gender pay gap, Swedish women work “unpaid” after 16:02 every day.

Since the Movement’s initiation in 2012, the gender pay gap has decreased by “11 minutes.”

How you can support Equal Pay Day