Estonia Discusses Gender Gap on 'Equal Pay Day' ({{commentsTotal}})

Estonia is marking "Equal Pay Day",  an initiative of the Ministry of Social Affairs, with debates on the gender gap and a tongue-in-cheek campaign in cafes and restaurants.

In Estonia, women earn 30 percent less than men on average - the greatest difference in salaries in the European Union, ETV news reported today.

A pay gap in Estonia affects the quality of life now, but also in the future with the size of pensions. There are several reasons for the gender gap: distribution according to gender in education and the labor market, difficulties in combining work with family life, and outdated pension practices.

Discussions in 15 cities begin at 2.36 p.m. - the time a woman’s work day would end if her work was compensated at the same value as men.

Estonian Association of Business and Professional Women has also organized the annual Tilliga ja tillita campaign on the day to draw attention to the pay gap. Public cafes and restaurants across the country today offer salmon (the word “lõhe”, also means “gap” in Estonian) sandwiches or other dishes with and without dill at two different prices. The salmon dish with dill is 30 percent pricier than without dill. The campaign is a play on words, with “till” meaning both “dill” as well as “willy” in Estonian.

The 30 percent statistic cited by the Ministry of Social Affairs concerning the gender pay gap orginated with Eurostat, which provides statistical information to the institutions of the European Union, said a spokesperson for the Ministry.

The Ministry has previously launched a campaign against gender stereotypes with several short dramatized clips that can be watched here.