Berlin marks Equal Pay Day with symbolic gesture

Businesses offer women 21 per cent discount to call attention to issue
March 21, 2019

Transcript

Berlin may boast a progressive image, but on Monday (March 18) a campaign highlighted a gap in its record.

Select shops and services across the city — like the metro and this wedding dress shop — offered a 21 per cent discount for women.

It's a symbolic gesture; women in Germany earn 21 per cent less than men, making it one of the highest gender pay gaps in Europe, second only to Estonia.

(SOUNDBITE) MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERNS PREMIER, MANUELA SCHWESIG, SAYING:

"We demonstrate for justice between women and men. Women should be paid just as much as men. If women are still getting 21 per cent less pay, if women are less senior, if women are the only ones looking after children and people in need of care in our country, then things are not going well in Germany. That needs to change."

The campaign is part of the country's Equal Pay Day, which aims to highlight the inequality.

German ministers gathered at the Brandenburg Gate to call attention to the issue.

Earning 21 per cent less means that women in Germany essentially work for free until the 18th of March each year.

Megan Revell/Reuters