Taiwan sees progress in gender pay equality

Following the pandemic’s peak, Taiwan has seen the gender hourly wage gap narrowed to its smallest gap in 13 years.
By: | March 4, 2024

Taiwan witnessed an encouraging advancement in workplace gender equality as Equal Pay Day arrived four days earlier this year, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) has announced. The gender pay gap also saw a reduction to 14.7%, maintaining its size from the previous year, marking the smallest gap in 13 years.

The latest statistics indicate that over the past year, women had to work an additional 54 days to match the annual earnings of their male counterparts. This year, the 54th day of the year, symbolising Equal Pay Day, fell on February 23, compared to February 27, 2023, the date of Equal Pay Day for the previous year.

Notably, the gap between men’s and women’s hourly wages narrowed to 14.7%, showcasing a recovery following the end of the pandemic. During the peak of the pandemic in 2021 and 2022, the gap had widened to 15.8%. In 2023, hourly wages for women stood at NT$318 (US$10.04), amounting to 85.3% of the NT$373 (US$11.80) earned by men.

The MOL attributed this positive shift to the growing demand for new employees in the services sector post-pandemic, leading to more favourable employment conditions for women. Hourly wages for women also experienced a faster growth rate compared to male employees in 2023.

READ MORE: Average rate of wages in Taiwan rose at end of 2023

In comparison with other countries, Taiwan’s gender pay gap fares relatively better, with Japan reporting a gap of 30% and South Korea at 30.2% in 2022. The US, utilising a formula based on the average weekly salary, recorded a 17% gap, while Taiwan reached 13.6% using the same method, reported Taiwan News.

The concept of Equal Pay Day, established in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity in the US, aims to raise public awareness about the disparity between men’s and women’s wages. Taiwan has been observing Equal Pay Day annually since 2012, reflecting the ongoing efforts to address gender wage gaps in the country’s workforce.