Equal pay for work of equal value is a principle enshrined in the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100), which has been ratified by 173 States. This principle is also reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which recognizes equal pay for work of equal value is key to inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Within the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, which calls for the promotion of sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all, a specific target 8.5 was established to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value by 2030.
To help member States and constituents address the gender pay gap, in September 2017, under the framework of the UN General Assembly, the Equal Pay for International Coalition (EPIC) was launched led by ILO, UN Women and OECD. EPIC´s objective is to work together at the global, regional and national levels to support governments, employers and workers and their organizations, and other stakeholders, to make equal pay between women and men for work of equal value a reality.
In January 2018, EPIC was launched in the Americas and an information session was carried out at the Americas Regional meeting in October 2018 in Panama. In the region there is strong interest in addressing equal pay for work of equal value and progress has been made through legislation at national level.
The ILO is committed to ensure that the actors of the world of work, Ministries of Labour, trade unions and employers become active participants of the EPIC coalition. To this effect, the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean proposed to build a network of governments, workers and employers committed to working together on this important issue, improve data collection and policy making at the national level through peer to peer learning and document and disseminate good practices. The initial target countries includes Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Jamaica, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. In addition, Canada was invited to participate in the activities since it is a champion of equal pay and has good practices, in both in-law and practice, to share with other countries in the Americas region.
As part of the effort of promoting EPIC in the region, the Americas Tripartite South-South and Triangular Cooperation Meeting on Equal Pay was held in Lima, Peru from May 27 to 29, 2019. This meeting, sponsored by the ILO South-South programme, created a common ground among the Americas tripartite constituents in support of the EPIC initiative. By encouraging the participants to engage EPIC, the meeting stimulated peer exchange for a better understanding of the challenges related to gender pay gap in the region and created a a positive learning environment for discussion of good practices in South-South triangular cooperation (SSTC). During the meeting the participants collaboratively outlined their needs and choose a series of relevant experiences to document and exchange.
See more about EPIC here: https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/equality-and-discrimination/epic/lang–en/index.htm
Photos of the meeting available here: https://www.ilo.org/americas/sala-de-prensa/WCMS_707740/lang–es/index.htm