Launch of the Equal Pay Platform of Champions

Side event organised by UN Women, ILO and Governments of Iceland and Switzerland

In 2016, during 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60), UN Women launched a global call to action to galvanize multi-stakeholder commitment and multi-stakeholder action on Equal Pay between Women and Men for Work of Equal Value.

Along with global advocacy in support of equal pay within the framework of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment and the ILO Women at Work Centenary Initiative, a UN Women-ILO led Global Equal Pay Coalition, which will be launched in September 2017, will contribute to accelerating concrete measures at the global, regional and national levels to reduce the global gender pay gap by 2030. The Coalition will include a Platform of Champions which will lead a broad awareness raising and visible political advocacy campaign and which will be launched during the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61).

Through their advocacy work, the Champions will raise awareness on the principle of equal remuneration for work of equal value and its implications, advocate for increased political support and proactively reach out to policy-makers and decision-takers and commit to contributing to the concrete advancement of the agenda. The work of the Platform of Champions will contribute to the longer-term coordinated sustainable legal and policy work of the Global Equal Pay Coalition on the issue of equal pay for work of equal value and related gender equality issues.

Objectives of the event

The launch of the Platform of Champions aims to be a high visibility event, to which high-level government ministers, civil society, private sector, media and others with be invited. It will provide the space for constructive action-oriented discussions on the key steps necessary to accelerate progress to close the gender pay gap by 2030.

The Champions in attendance will present examples of achievements and good practices in relation to the goal of equal pay for work of equal value within their sphere of influence, and call for new commitments towards achieving this goal. Video messages from Champions not present will also be shown.

The high-level launch of the Platform of Champions will attract and involve a large number of both government and civil society participants, among which new champions will also be welcomed and announced.

The event will be accompanied by a global communication campaign. Communication tools will include dedicated web-pages, social media campaigns to disseminate information to the wider public, including on the gender pay gap and good practices and other proactive measures needed to achieve the target. Through the campaign, meaningful messages/actions for a global advocacy plan focusing on broad universal elements of the equal pay and related issues will be developed and adapted for targeted actions to be concretized in stakeholder commitments. 

At the end of the event, the expected results are:
  • Increased awareness on equal pay through strong advocacy;
  • Identified good practices to accelerate progress on key areas;
  • Enhanced political dialogue on the issues; and
  • Commitment to concrete next steps.

As such, the event will pave the way for sustained coordinated and coherent action at global, regional and national levels.

Modalities of the Launch

The launch will consist of a dynamic two-hour evening discussion to be held in a round-table format with a high profile moderator with substantive knowledge on the issue. The round-table discussion will consist of concise, sharp interventions of each speaker, stimulated and moderated by the anchor. The speakers will contribute in relation to their role and comparative advantage to the identified key advocacy goals, good practices and future actions around them: appropriate legislation on equal remuneration for work of equal value, and accessible dispute resolution mechanisms; adequate measures to address the gender bias in wage structures and wage fixing mechanisms, including through objective job evaluation methods and pay transparency; measures to advance women in leadership positions; role of employers’ and workers’ organizations; data, including on wages and other benefits, disaggregated by gender, race, migrant status, etc.; strong supportive maternity, paternity and parental leave, and childcare policies; and minimum living wages.

Members of the Platform of Champions

  • Ms. Patricia Arquette (USA), Actress
  • Ms. Anannya Bhattacharjee (India), President, Garment and Allied Workers Union
  • Ms. Ümit Nazlı Boyner (Turkey), Co-Founder, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey
  • Ms. Sharan Burrow (Australia), General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Baroness Sharmishta (Shami) Chakrabarti, CBE (United Kingdom), Labour Party politician, Member of House of Lords
  • The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand (USA), United States Senator from New York
  • Ms. Věra Jourová (Czech Republic), European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality
  • Dr. Naila Kabeer (United Kingdom), Professor of Gender and International Development, Gender Institute, London School of Economics
  • Ms. Emma Kaliya (Malawi), NGO Gender Coordination Network
  • Ms. Chidi King (Belgium/Sierra Leone), International Trade Union Confederation
  • Ms. Linda Kromjong, Secretary-General, International Organization of Employers
  • Ms. Kamala Lopez (USA), Film maker and activist
  • Ms. Nomasonto Mazibuko (South Africa), Commissioner, Commission on Gender Equality, and Executive Director, Albinism Society of South Africa
  • Ms. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Pakistan), Journalist, Oscar-winning filmmaker, activist
  • Mrs. Saint-Malo de Alvarado, Vice-President of Panama 
  • Mr. Salil Shetty (India), Secretary-General, Amnesty International
  • Ms. Mary Abigail (Abby) Wambach (USA), Retired soccer player, coach, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion
  • The Honourable Kathleen Wynne (Canada), 25th Premier of Ontario
  • Representatives of the Governments of Cambodia, Cuba, Iceland and Switzerland (TBC)

Further information

Read the UN article on the launch of the "Equal Pay Platform of Champions