Georgia joins the Equal Pay International Coalition

Date: Saturday, September 18, 2021

The document on membership of Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) was signed by Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Tamar Barkalaia. Photo: Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia
The document on membership of Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) was signed by Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Tamar Barkalaia. Photo: Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia

With the help of UN Women, Georgia has joined the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) and once more has underlined the need for equal pay for equal work. The document was signed by the Deputy Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, Tamar Barkalaia.

It is noteworthy that with this step, the country reaffirmed its readiness to fulfil the obligation to eliminate the gender pay gap. “Georgia is one of the first countries to join the International Coalition and commit to developing and improving a methodology for monitoring and ensuring equal pay, including active work with social partners to ensure that employers and employees are aware of their rights and to introduce equal pay practices, which will be reflected in women’s economic activities - which is one of the most important indicators of economic well-being in general,” Mrs. Barkalaia remarked after the signing.

Niko Tatulashvili, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Human Rights, stressed the priority of equal pay for the State: “By joining this platform, we reaffirm our support for the issue of equal pay for equal work at both legislative and practical levels.”

According to Geostat 2019 data, the monthly gender pay gap in Georgia is 36 per cent, which means that the monthly salary of employed women averages 64 per cent of the monthly salary of employed men.

UN Women has been working in Georgia to eliminate the gender pay gap since 2018 and is working closely with the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, including to join EPIC. It is important to underline that EPIC is led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), UN Women and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As UN Women Country Representative in Georgia Kaori Ishikawa has noted, “this is a historic day that Georgia has joined EPIC. Even if women and men are equally participating in labor but not paid equally, it means that they are not equally benefiting from work. This is a beginning where Georgian women will start on pay equality issues.”

Following the signing ceremony to join EPIC, representatives of the Government, Parliament, the private sector and civil society discussed measures to eliminate the gender pay gap, the methodology for estimating equal pay and reporting, and the next steps needed to implement it.

The initiatives to eliminate the gender pay gap in Georgia are held within the UN Women project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus”. The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).