EPIC Launch in Latin America and the Caribbean

15 Jan 2018

A ceremony in Panama marked the regional launch in Latin America and the Caribbean of an international coalition to promote pay equality between women and men. The Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) is led by the ILO, UN Women and the OECD.

PANAMA CITY (ILO News) – Panama hosted a regional launch of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC) to promote a reduction of the wage gap between women and men in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is currently at 15 per cent.

“The task of this Coalition is to articulate policies, promote and adopt measures and concrete actions to increase the participation of women in labour market,” Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela said at the launch ceremony in Panama City. “We must promote through different mechanisms, including legal instruments, measures that ensure that men and women get equal pay,” he added.

Led by ILO, UN Women and the OECD, the multi-stakeholder coalition had its global launch in September 2017, during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Speaking at the ceremony, José Manuel Salazar, ILO Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, pointed out that “despite efforts conducted in recent years, there is still a pay gap in the region.” In the 10 years to 2015 this gap dropped 6 percentage points to 15 per cent, he said, adding that the level remained too high to guarantee that no one will be left behind on the road to development.