The plenary session of the transitional National Assembly began with the unanimous adoption of the first law, the law on equal pay for women and men. Thus, every employer would be obliged to pay workers of both sexes who perform the same function equally and without discrimination.

The project, which was presented in 2021 and was already on hold, establishes parameters and different criteria for evaluating positions and compensation that will be mandatory in both public and private companies.

But it also establishes the possibility for women to file complaints and sanctions for those who do not comply with this law, which still has to go through the approval phase of the President of the Republic, Daniel Nobo, or his total or partial objection. Only then will it be valid.

In Ecuador, the wage gap is large and, according to studies, even one of the most significant compared to other countries in the region; further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On average, in our country, women earn between 20 and 25 percent less than men for the same job. As of last October, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), women received an average of $254 in earned income compared to $306 for men. The corresponding employment rate of men in the same month was 40.1%; for women 27.2%. Unemployment was higher for women, 4.5%; while men 2.9%.

These figures reveal the need for public policies that close gaps, not just labor gaps, but economic gaps in general, as well as social, educational and cultural gaps.

The work is arduous and continuous, not only for women, but also for men from their areas of activity.

It is urgently necessary to act to reduce inequalities in the labor market, because they ultimately affect the economic development of the country. (OR)