Berlin Marked Equal Pay Day With A Female-Only Public Transport Discount

Imagine all the extended train journeys you could make if they did that here...

dog on a train

by Georgia Aspinall |

It was a monumental day in Germany yesterday, as people across the country highlighted pay discrepancies between genders for their Equal Pay Day. In aiming to draw attention to the national day, Berlin’s public transport authority BVG offered an all-new discount specifically for women.

Women travelling around the city received 21% off fares, highlighting the 21% pay gap between men and women in Germany. As one of the biggest gender pay gaps in the EU, and coincidentally exactly the same as the UK, the discrepancy is 5% higher than the EU average of 16%. According to EU data for 2016, Estonia has the greatest gender pay gap of 25.6% while Romania has the smallest at around 5%.

The ‘Frauenticket’ scheme was only valid for Equal Pay Day, which falls on the 77th day of the year as the 21% gap is equivalent to 77 days of unpaid work for women. Essentially, all the work women in Germany (and the UK) have done up until yesterday went unpaid compared to men on average.

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The travel authority itself only has 20% of women in the workforce, hoping to increase it to 27% currently, but insists it provides equal pay across all job categories. Across the entire EU, the gender pay gap is highest in finance and insurance industries than the business economy as a whole. Comparing average pay across the 28 nations, they look at gross hourly earnings of men and women in businesses with 10 or more employees for both the public and private sector to determine the gender pay gap.

Any such similar scheme has not been announced in the UK, although with Equal Pay Day not until the 2nd of April there is still time for businesses to promote a similar discount. Basically, block out the 2nd of April to do all of your family and friend reunions across the UK, because no doubt we will end up galivanting around the entire nation getting on random trains just to take advantage of the discount. You never know, the companies that could end up profiting off such chaos might even implement the discount year-round. Clearly, we deserve it

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