Taiwan's gender pay gap narrows in 2020

02/23/2021 02:40 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 23 (CNA) The Ministry of Labor (MOL) has set this year's Equal Pay Day on Feb. 20, one day earlier than in 2020, based on estimates that Taiwanese women needed to work that far into this year to earn the same amount that men did last year.

The Equal Pay Day was based on the estimate that women in Taiwan had to work 51 more days on average than men to earn the same income because their salaries were 14 percent lower on average than those of male workers in 2020.

According to the MOL, the average hourly salary for female employees in 2020 was NT$296 (US$10.5), compared with NT$344 for men.

The Equal Pay Days for 2017, 2018 and 2019 were all set on Feb. 23, meaning women in Taiwan had to work 54 more days than men to make the same annual income because their salaries were 14.6 percent lower on average than those of their male counterparts.

Over the past decade, the average hourly wage gap in Taiwan has been reduced from 17.1 percent in 2010 to 14 percent in 2020, translating to a fall from 63 to 51 extra work days for women to achieve the same pay level as men, the ministry said.

Despite the gap, Taiwan fares better on gender pay equality than other countries in the region and worldwide, according to the ministry.

In 2019, for instance, the pay rate gap between men and women was 31.9 percent in Japan, 30.6 in South Korea, and 17.7 percent in the United States.

Over the past decade, that gap was reduced by 7.8 percentage points in South Korea, 3.1 percentage points in Taiwan, 3.3 percentage points in Japan, and 1.1 percentage points in the U.S., according to the ministry.

The Equal Pay Day concept was established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity in the U.S. with the aim of raising public awareness about the gap between men's and women's wages.

The MOL started to announce an annual Equal Pay Day in 2012.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Joseph Yeh)

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