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Income inequality Women's pay begins today

International Women's Day marks the first day of the year female workers ‘start getting paid’

A WHOPPING gender pay gap means that the average woman worker starts getting paid for the year today — on International Women's Day.

TUC research revealed that women work for free for more than two months of the year, when their wages are compared with those of men.

The gender pay gap for full- and part-time employees currently stands at over 18 per cent.

But in some industries, women have to wait until April or even May for their “Women’s Pay Day.”

In education, the gender pay gap is currently more than 26 per cent, so the average woman effectively works for free for over a quarter of the year and has to wait until April 7 to start earning the same as the average man.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Nearly 50 years since the Ford machinists went on strike at Dagenham, the UK still has one of the worst gender pay gaps in Europe.

"Women in the UK will only start to get paid properly when we have better-paid part-time and flexible jobs. And higher wages in key sectors like social care."

Ms O’Grady said the best first step for women worried about pay was to join a union as “workplaces that recognise unions are more likely to have family friendly policies and fair pay.”

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said: “On International Women’s Day and the year in which we mark 100 years since some women were first allowed to vote women still face unacceptable pay disparities.”

Unison Wales also revealed today that 70 per cent of 150 women polled did not believe equality in the workplace had been achieved, with more than half having witnessed or experienced sexism.

Unison Wales women’s officer Jenny Griffin said that there’s so much pressure on “women to look good, be the perfect wife, the perfect mother and bring home a salary. Men are not judged in the same way and the expectations and aspirations we ask of them are much lower.”

Shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler said: “Today we celebrate how far we have come in the fight for equality, while also recognising how far we still have to go.

“It is time to address these deep-rooted inequalities. The next Labour government will introduce radical reforms to tackle the structural barriers facing women across our society.”

Women’s rights campaigners across Britain are taking part in protests today to mark International Women’s Day.

Over 250 people across the country are joining a 24-hour “freedom fast” today in solidarity with hunger strikers locked up in Yarl’s Wood immigration centre.

The Home Office has refused to meet demands of the strikers as the protest reaches its second week, responding by threatening to accelerate deportation.

A demonstration along with the freedom fast will be held outside the Home Office this afternoon at 3pm, and at 5pm in Carfax, Oxford, in support.

And Global Women’s Strike is organising a protest in support of Sisters of Rohingya outside the Unilever offices in London.

With over £430 million invested in Myanmar, Unilever is one of the biggest foreign firms there. Myanmar’s military is committing ethnic cleansing, systematic rape and torture against the Rohingya.

And an International Women’s Day march will be held in Glasgow at 4.30pm at the La Pasionaria statue.

The demonstration will be joined by #Solidarity4Repeal campaigners to raise awareness about access to abortion.

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