Women in New Zealand would have to work until 17 February to earn the same amount as men did in the previous year.

The date, also known as Equal Pay Day, or Red Bag Day, marks the period of extra days in the current year which women would need to work to make up the pay gap.

The day is recognised in many countries around the world, with the exact day varying depending on the gender pay gap in any particular country.

Pay discrimination has been outlawed in New Zealand since the 1972 Equal Pay Act. However, 45 years later women in New Zealand still earn an average 13 percent less than men for every hour worked.

Speaking in support of equal pay day, Suzanne McNabb, the TEU national women’s officer said

“A gender pay gap is neither economically sensible nor socially justifiable and equal pay day is a great way of highlighting this basic unfairness. It shows that for each of the first seven weeks of the New Year women are working just to catch up with what their male counterparts earned last year.”

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