London's Women Of The World Festival Is In Full Swing

From famous feminist speakers to incredible comedy acts, we're totally in

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It's been brilliant week for celebrating women.

On 8 March, we saw International Women's Day 2016 unite people for a worldwide celebration of women. And rather perfectly, the Women Of The World festival kicked off at London's Southbank Centre on the same day.

From guest speakers including Annie Lennox on her women and girls' charity The Circle, to hilarious comedy acts, to seminars discussing women in enterprise, our severe under-representation in politics and badasses in feminist history, WoW is six days of looking at the obstacles faced by women and girls striving to fulfil their potential.

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The ELLE team will be attending WoW and bringing you snippets of the best bits. But in the meantime, here are the actual facts behind equal pay in time for tomorrow's Gender Pay Gap Workshop at the Royal Festival Hall.

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What's the gender pay gap? It's the difference between women's and men's earnings. And sadly, The Guardian reported that that difference is currently at £5,732 or 24% for those working full time in 2016. 

There are a variety of reasons for this depressing statistic. Among them are women's caring responsibilities, women working in sectors which tend to be lower paid, barriers to women gaining access to the same qualifications as men - and, finally, out and out discrimination. Yes, women being paid less for the same job as their male colleagues. No, this isn't an archive post. Yes, it is 2016.

The good news is that if you work in a larger organisation, with 250 employees or more, next year they'll have to publish the difference between the average salaries of men and women.

Check out our award-winning Make Them Pay campaign to find out more.

5 things you need to know about equal pay

1 - Women make up 47% of the UK workforce

2 - Men working full-time earned £558 per week in April 2014 compared with £462 for women

3 - Over the last decade, a male graduate could expect to earn on average 20% MORE than a female graduate

4 - Eliminating gender discrimination in relation to occupation and pay could increase women’s wages by about 50% and boost our economy by 5%

5 - Increasing overall maternal employment by 5% (to 62%) would be worth around £750 million annually to the economy (from higher taxes and a lower benefit bill)

 

Words by Emma King and ELLE Politics Editor Ellie Gellard

 

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