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Time to end the gender pay gap in journalism

ON INTERNATIONAL Women's Day, 8 March, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) launched a global #PayMeEqual campaign. It urges media across the world to conduct pay audits in their newsrooms and to act to tackle the gender pay gap.

To support this, the IFJ launched a global survey together with Wageindicator to document the gender pay gap at a national level and support its affiliates in their call for equal pay. You can use the survey to compare your own wage to those in the profession holding similar positions.

"This survey is going to help our affiliates fight for equal pay and opportunities", said IFJ President Younes Mjahed: "Lodging a complaint against one’s employer for unfair payment or discrimination requires courage and we must make sure unions are fully equipped and structured to support their members in this task."

Other measures to close the gender pay gap in journalism include the development of family-friendly workplaces, legislative change to improve pay transparency, for example, through company level pay audits, pay surveys, equality plans and income reports.

Equal pay means that women and men should receive equal remuneration for work of equal value. The global gender pay gap is estimated at 23 per cent. This means that women earn on average 77 per cent of what men earn.

In January 2020 BBC presenter Samira Ahmed, a member of the National Union of Journalists, an IFJ afffiliate, won a landmark equal pay victory against the BBC for being paid six times less than her male counterpart.

"We need concrete pay audits in newsrooms to help close the gender pay gap", said IFJ Gender Council Chair Maria Angeles Samperio. "Too few media companies provide for full transparency regarding pay and bonuses and it is our job as unions to hold them to account and disclose wages to evaluate whether all media workers, irrespective of their gender, receive equal remuneration for work of equal value".

To support its campaign IFJ calls on members to share stories of equal pay wins on social media using the #PayMeEqual tag.