Taipei--The Ministry of Labor on Friday set this year's Equal Pay Day at Feb. 21, two days earlier than in 2016, based on estimates that Taiwanese women needed to work that far into this year to earn the same amount that men did last year.
Equal Pay Day is derived from the estimate that women in Taiwan on average have to work 52 more days than men at their pay rate to make the same amount, because their salaries are 14 percent less than those of their male coworkers.
According to the ministry, the average hourly salary for female employees last year was NT$264.6 (US$8), compared with NT$307.7 for males.
The ministry also said that the average hourly wage gap has been reduced from 18.8 percent from 2006 to 14 percent in 2016, which translated to a drop from 69 to 52 extra work days for women to achieve the same level as men.
The concept of Equal Pay Day was established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in the United States. It is aimed at raising public awareness about the gap between men's and women's wages.
The ministry said Taiwan is relatively advanced on this issue compared with some other countries.
For instance, in 2016, the pay rate gap between men and women was 32.8 percent in Japan and 18.1 percent in the U.S. In its latest data, South Korea reported a 31.8 percent gap for 2015.
Over the past decade, that gap was reduced by 4.1 percent in Japan and 1.1 percent in the U.S., according to the ministry.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel