Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Equal pay for women

In June 1969 the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission accepted the principle that there should be ‘equal pay for equal work’. The Commission ruled that employers had to pay the same salaries to women and men doing the same work and that all the changes had to take place by the beginning of 1972. Until this time, most women’s wages were allowed to be only 75% of men’s wages for the same work. Many people had fought for years to change this unfairness.

So why is there a campaign for equal pay for women today? I have not been able to find the answer to this question, but am wondering if it is kind of shifting the goalposts, because it seems to me that women do get paid the same for the same job.

Are they saying that the average woman should be paid the same as the average man? Or are they saying that there should be equally as many women in high paying jobs as men? Are they saying that women who do managerial jobs don't always attract the generous financial package that some men enjoy?

But how could you legislate for this?

Isn't it the case that tall and slim people also get paid better than short and fat people? Could you make a law that all short fat managers get paid the same as the other blokes?

Or am I completely missing the point?

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