CSW68 side event

The Gender Pay Gap: Addressing gendered income inequality. Applying the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in times of crisis and rising poverty


Globally, labour force participation rate for women is less than 50 per cent compared to 80 per cent for men. Women’s ability to engage, remain and progress in paid work is constricted by the unequal division of housework and care responsibilities. Furthermore, the gender pay gap remains at 19 per cent globally, ranging from 13 per cent in low-income countries to 21 per cent in upper-middle-income countries. Women also experience significantly lower social protection coverage than men, a discrepancy that largely reflects and reproduces their lower labour force participation rates and higher levels of temporary and precarious work and informal employment. All these factors contribute to lower income, savings and pensions of women and gendered poverty in old age.
Recognizing and addressing these systemic challenges and closing the gender pay gap is vital in the fight against women’s poverty.


Hosted by Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) with the sponsorship of the governments of Canada, Iceland, Panama, Ukraine and Switzerland, this event will be an opportunity to share best practices and strategies to close the gender pay gap including in times of multiple overlapping crises, explore the potential impact of closing the gender pay gap on addressing women’s poverty and  strengthen global, regional and national commitments to pay equity as one of the strategies to reduce poverty, as well as strengthening EPIC membership.


  • Jemimah Njuki, Chief Economic Empowerment Section, UN Women
  • Chidi King, Branch Chief, Gender, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, ILO
  • Monika Queisser, Senior Counsellor to the Director of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate and the Head of Social Policy Division, OECD
  • Doris Zapata Acevedo, Minister of Labor and Workforce Development of the Republic of Panama
  • Tetiana Berezhna, Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine
  • Maha Ali, Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women, The Kingdom of Jordan
  • Greet Vermeylen, Policy Officer, Gender Equality Unit, DG Justice, The European Commission
  • Sandra Lengwiler, International Affairs Officer at the Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE), Switzerland
  • Cairo Eubanks, Youth activist, New Future Foundation International Civil Society Youth Representative to the United Nations and the Chair of the United Nations Department of Global Communications Civil Society Youth Representatives Steering Committee
  • Siobhan Vipond, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) 
  • Michelle Fertig, Principal of Global Employer Services of Deloitte Tax LLP
Moderated by Rakesh Patry, Director General, of International and Intergovernmental Labour Affairs, for the Government of Canada’s Department of Employment and Social Development, and Chair of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC).

A live broadcast of the event will be available on UN Web TV