WHAT IS PANAMA DOING TO REDUCE THE GENDER PAY GAP
High Level Commitment
Panama is currently articulating several initiatives like EPIC, and the Gender Parity Initiative with the IADB and WEF.
Under EPIC the government of Panama lead a regional launch in January 2018 with participation of different stakeholders such as UN Women, ILO, OECD, The Governments of Switzerland, Canada and others Latin American countries, high level representation from the business sector and others. In parallel, Panama launched a website to share valuable content from the launch and regional updates, share practical tools and catalyse joint campaigns in the future. During the launch the Panamanian President was present and pledged his commitment to the cause as well as the Vice President who is the regional Champion for EPIC.
Along with IADB and WEF the first year plan for the Gender Parity Initiative was launched on the 11th of July along with the National Council for Gender Parity. One of the main pillars of this initiative is equal pay, and therefore the National Plan for EPIC has been incorporated in the initiatives action plan, elevating EPICs institutionalization and articulation between all actors. For this reason a group of leaders comprised by members of the private and public sector with members of that include important NGOs that work with the topic has been created and is accompanied by a group of strategic allies comprised of international organizations, business organizations and important NGOs that work closely with these topics.
Legal Framework Harmonization
The Panamanian Government passed and regulated law 56 of 2017 that establishes the participation of 30% of women in the directives of state boards and boards of public- private enterprises. This process and its follow up is accompanied by the Women Corporate Directors (WCD) Panamanian Chapter.
An updated regulation is in process regarding the aspects of equal pay under law 4 of 1999 regarding equal opportunities between men and women. In that same line, proposals have been launched and the respective follow ups are taking place with regards to the standardization of data and indicators that measure the salary gap in the country.
In order to create more awareness, we are planning to have a national day to celebrate the right to equal pay.
The Ministry of Labor and Development is working with UNDP on the Gender Equality Seal for the Private Sector in order to incorporate measure to address equal pay in companies.
Panama will assist EPIC´s pledge event during the United Nations General Assembly and encourages other members to assist as well.
IN WHAT WAY IS EPIC RELEVANT TO PANAMA?
EPIC is relevant to Panama due to the persistence of existing gaps in areas of women’s political empowerment and economic participation ( which include access to an income) while gender gaps in education, health and life expectancy have been significantly reduced. The government of Panama believes that this is an effort that has to transcend governments, has to be done in collaboration between the private, public and third sector in order to achieve the SDG, especially 5 and 8.5.
In the region similar gaps exist and therefore Panama feels a responsibility to create consciousness and policies in order to close the gaps.