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Cosmo fronts national #equalpay campaign

Because being paid 18% less for having a vagina is just.not.on

By Mel Evans
Cosmo fronts national #equalpay campaign

The November issue of Cosmopolitan Australia kicks off a nation-wide campaign to help close the pay gap between men and women.

(Not so) fun fact: Australian men are paid on average 18 percent more than women – a gender pay gap that has barely shifted in the past 20 years. In real terms, this gap means that women stop getting paid on October 27 each year and work the next 65 days for free.

AW, HELL NO!

Let’s break it down for a second, shall we? It means that men are going to pay off their HECS debt about 18 per cent faster than women. It means that straight out of uni, male graduates are paid $3,000 more for their first job. And it means that in our lifetimes, we’re going to earn on average a mind-blowing $700,000 less than men. Just because we were born with innie genitals instead of outies.

"It’s 2015 and women working full-time are getting paid 82 cents for every dollar men earn,” says Cosmo editor Bronwyn McCahon. “Let’s stop complaining and actually start doing – we need to take action."

If you’re after a visual, here’s what you could buy with that $3,000 extra a year:

-A return flight to LA and six nights at the Standard Hotel (with spare change for a few cocktails at the bar).
-One-third of an intensive programming course at General Assembly (so that you can learn how to create your own app empire).
-Two months' rent in Sydney (OK, that one hurts).
-A Proenza Schouler PS1 satchel bag (pretty much a necessity).
-Two years' gym membership (um, no wonder there are so many guys with gym selfies on Tinder).

And the problem just gets worse as time goes on. Based on a 2.5 per cent interest rate, it’ll take women nearly four years longer than men to save up a $100,000 deposit for a house. $3,000 may not sound like a huge deal now, but that gap just gets bigger and bigger. Research shows that right now only 2 in 10 single women in Australia can afford to retire, while 5 out of 10 single men can afford to when the time comes.

“It’s appalling. Why should we be at a disadvantage when it comes to finances, everyone should be on an even playing field,” says TV and radio presenter Emma Freedman. “Why am I worth less than a man? Why do I deserve to be paid less than a bloke? It makes no sense. If anything, I should be paid more because I’m prettier!”

The campaign will culminate in a day of action on October 27, where we’ve teamed up with leading retailers like The Iconic, ModelCo and Le Tan (to name just a few) to offer women 18% off online shopping, you know, just to soften the blow of BEING PAID 18% LESS THAN DUDES!

Like Uncle Sam, we want YOU to sign our petition requesting that the government make companies’ gender pay gaps public – which means they’ll finally be held accountable for paying men and women equally.

This petition will be taken to Parliament by MP Larissa Waters, Greens Senator and Spokesperson for Women, at the start of November, where she’ll speak on behalf of everyone who signed the petition to encourage change. She’ll also be presenting a bill to stop gag clauses in employment contracts, which forces men and women to stay silent about what they earn.

Head to Change.org/CosmoEqualPay to sign our petition and, most importantly, spread the word. Rant to all your friends. Bitch about the pay gap on Facebook. Join our celeb supporters by posting a photo of yourself saying HELL NO to the pay gap on Instagram. Heck, put it in your Tinder profile if you need to – just make sure people know.

The power is YOURS (thanks for the inspo, Captain Planet).