- Chile, one of the two counties of South America with a woman as president, has enacted a law mandating equal wages for men and women doing the same work.
- In the Americas, only Quebec has similar (and similarly strong) legal bans on gender-based pay discrimination, National Women’s Service Minister Laura Albornoz told the IPS news service..
- President Michelle Bachelet signed the law into effect in June 2009, saying it promotes the idea “that the men and women of our country should receive equal pay for equal work.”
- The law, approved unanimously by the Chilean Parliament, does allow employers to pay different amounts for the same work based on such grounds as skills, responsibility as long as such distinctions “shall not be considered arbitrary.”
- The burden of pursuing enforcement is on the worker, who must complain in writing to the employer and then pursue the matter in a court. Companies with more than 200 employees must list all positions and their functions in order to allow workers to determine which salaries should be comparable.
- The National Institute of Statistics says Chilean women earn 31.1% less than men overall and as much as 49.8% less in individual professions. That is one reason why only 41.6% of women are in the work force.
The IPS-Inter Press Service report