Equal Pay campaigns

2021 - #MakeHerCount

Make Her Count banner

On 20 February, PES Women marks European Equal Pay Day by highlighting that the EU gender pay gap is still as big as 14.1%. In the context of COVID-19, the #MakerHerCount campaign draws attention to the fact that women are working at their maximum while receiving only the minimum of pay and recognition. Applause and empty words are not enough. PES Women wants Europe to show that women’s contributions count.

Women make up the majority of frontline workers in essential sectors that are keeping our society afloat during this pandemic, such as childcare and education, health and long-term care, cleaning and domestic services and the commercial and service industry. Many of them work for minimum pay, despite shouldering a heavy responsibility and exposing themselves and their families to health risks. For example, according to UN Women, women make up 70% of healthcare workers globally yet earn 11% less than their male colleagues. In Europe, women make up 58% of all minimum wage earners. At the same time, in our homes, women are shouldering the maximum of responsibility for home schooling, household and family care work, many while teleworking. Yet, this extra work receives too little recognition, no pay, and contributes to a disproportionately high number of women working on part-time, precarious contracts.

Our #MakeHerCount campaign features real stories by real frontline workers from across Europe, likeNoora, Anna, Vera, Marija, Sonja, Christina and Lydia, Veselina, Mária, Žana, Luz Elena and more. We asked them how the pandemic has impacted their jobs and work-life-balance, how their work is being recognised and remunerated, and what they would like to see changed.

Check all the campaign videos


PES Women calls for:

  • Targeted measures at EU and national level to fight horizontal labour market segregation. The fact that more women than men tend to work in low-paid sectors is a major factor behind the gender pay gap. Improving pay and working conditions in women-dominated sectors, ensuring access to upskilling and life-long learning, while combatting stereotypes to encourage more men to work in care, education, hospitality etc. and more women to work in STEM, should be a priority.
  • Gender mainstreamed national recovery and resilience plans with adequate investments in female-dominated sectors to protect women’s jobs and economic independence during and after the pandemic.
  • A binding EU Pay Transparency Directive which contains credible sanctions for non-compliance by companies and binding equal pay targets per member state and age group to completely eliminate the gender pay and pension gaps by 2030. Both targets should be monitored through mandatory equal pay plans and pay gap audits. It should also include standardised rules for data collection and guidelines for determining what counts as ‘work of equal value’.
  • A Care Deal for Europe, including increased investments in raising wages for care workers and improving access to affordable and quality healthcare, childcare and long-term care.
  • Immediate and full implementation of the EU Work-Life Balance Directive to encourage more men to take up unpaid care responsibilities at home.
  • Strong collective bargaining and social dialogue to ensure collective rather than individual solutions to achieve equal pay.
  • EU-wide ratification and implementation of the 2011 ILO Domestic Workers Convention.


2020 - Gender Pay Gap - not a game


 The Gender Pay Gap in the European Union is still 16% on average.

This means that, in order to earn what a man earns in one year, a woman has to work a full year plus 58 days - until 27 February of the following year.

Every year, PES Women mobilises to demand Equal Pay on this day. Find more information at https://www.equalpayday.eu

This year, on 27 February, PES Women is mobilising for Equal Pay with the campaign "Gender Pay Gap - not a game". 

  1. The cards are stacked against women - higher paid jobs are dominated by men, and women’s pay is negatively affected by unequally shared care responsibilities and parental leave. We need gender-sensitive labour market policies.
  2. Women are being dealt a bad hand - on average in the EU, the gender pay gap is 16% and the gender pension gap is 30%. In some countries, it is even higher. Women deserve more.
  3. It’s time to put all the cards on the table - we need EU legislation on pay transparency to shine a light on pay discrimination. The EU must introduce criteria for assessing work of equal value, gender pay gap audits and sanctions for non-compliance.
  4. It’s time to raise the stakes on gender equality - the EU and national governments must introduce concrete and binding measures to eliminate the gender pay gap by 2030.


Materials to download

Visuals for social media

Whilst the average pay gap between men and women is 16% in the EU, across occupations the figures vary widely.

The campaign visuals below show jobs where the pay gap is particularly large - airline pilots, those working in food production, healthcare professionals, teachers and welders/metal workers are among the professions where women earn significantly less than their male counterparts. 



Printable files

Face-cutout poster

Campaign poster

A poster which features a face-cutout has been produced for selfies and other actions. You can download the print file using the link below.


Promotional materials

Equal pay day card visual

Limited-edition playing cards

A limited-edition deck of campaign playing cards will be available around 8 March.

Kings, queens and jacks in the specially designed set depict male and female workers in jobs with some of the largest gender pay gaps in Europe.




2019 - What women really want is Equal Pay

In order to raise awareness to the Gender Pay Gap, on Equal Pay Day 2019 (27 February), PES Women launched a campaign video called "What women really want is Equal Pay". 

2018 - Equal Pay for Equal Pensions

Pensioner with grandchild

Women’s pensions are 39% lower than men’s in Europe. In order to prevent this pension gap from keeping happening, we need to act now and close the gender pay gap.

On the European level, we call for:

  • a common target to be established in order to reduce the gender pay gap by 2 percentage points per year and per Member State for all age groups
  • monitoring the reduction of the gender pay gap through audits at EU level
  • clear and dissuasive sanctions in the European legislation in case of non-fulfilment of the objectives

Check the campaign video

Materials to download


Facebook timeline pictures

Facebook timeline pictures


Print files

2017 - Start sooner to get equal pay later

The PES Women campaign for Equal Pay was originally launched in 2013 and is the main feature of 2017. The campaign raises awareness about the 16.2% gender pay gap that exists at European level.

While in 2013 it focused on the pension gap between men and women, this year's theme is "Start sooner to get equal pay later", denouncing the fact that women would have to work ten years longer – or start working ten years earlier – to match the lifetime earnings of men.

This year's is a joint campaign with Zij-Kant and ABVV.

In order to shut the gender pay gap, PES Women calls for:

  • a common target to be established in order to reduce the Gender Pay Gap by 2% per year and per Member State for all age groups 
  • monitoring the reduction of the gender pay gap through audits at European level
  • clear and dissuasive sanctions in the European legislation in case of non-fulfilment of the objectives


Campaign material 2017


2013 - Equal pay for equal work

Equal pay

Campaign material 2013