PES short film premiere: Start work sooner for equal pay later?
Women would have to work ten years longer – or start working ten years earlier – to match the lifetime earnings of men.
This is the underlying message of the 2017 Equal Pay Day short film, launched today by the Party of European Socialists in partnership with the sp.a women’s organisation zij-kant and ABVV, the socialist union of Belgium.
The quirky film depicts the experiences of a young girl who is sent out to work at the age of ten, after her father learns about the gender pay gap in Europe and is determined to redress the balance.
But, as the film's punchline reveals, the career in which she finds a role is unexpected to say the least.
Zita Gurmai, PES Women president, said:
"Our campaign film for 2017 has a playful theme, but it's underpinned by a serious message. Despite the EU-wide ban on direct and indirect discrimination, women are still paid less than men in every European country.
"This means not only a lower income throughout life, but also reduced pensions and more precarious financial circumstances in retirement. The risk of poverty for women over 65 in the EU is 22%, compared to 16% for men."
According to European Commission data, the pay gap is as wide as 28% in Estonia, 22% in Germany and 19% in the UK. The figure for Belgium is around 10%.
In response, PES Women has formulated three campaign demands:
- to reduce the pay gap by 2% per member state per year
- to establish an audit process to monitor progress
- to implement clear sanctions as a deterrent for failure to fulfil objectives
The film was conceived by creative agency mortierbrigade, working with the talented young director Deben Van Dam from the Hamlet production company.
It follows a highly successful campaign from the same creative agency in 2016, whose hard-hitting film “Pay me like a man” reached nearly every country in the EU.