Berlin Metro to Offer Women Special Gender Pay Gap Fare for Equal Pay Day

In honor of Equal Pay Day in Germany, female riders of Berlin’s buses, trams and metro trains will pay 21 percent less than men for a ticket. The special fare is only for the day, March 18, in acknowledgment of the country’s gender pay gap. In Germany, women have to work 442 days, that’s a year and 77 days more than men to make a man’s yearly salary. The difference of 77 days means that every year, women end up working for free until March 18.

With news of this move comes plenty of praise and criticism, to which Berlin’s Metro spokesperson added, “Of course this price gap feels unfair. But that’s the whole point. Just for a day we just wanted to make the big pay gap feel tangible in ticket form. This is what women are up against every day.”

Berlin is working to bring awareness to this issue and stands alone as the only city in Germany to make International Women’s Day a public holiday. A number of restaurants and businesses in the area are also shedding light on the issue by providing women the special one-day 21 percent discount.

The Realist Woman’s take:

Most of the time, people don’t understand the importance and depth of an issue until it literally costs them something. For example, I’m sure there’s a husband out there, whose wife should be making more money at her job, but doesn’t. She doesn’t make the same amount as her male colleagues, not because she’s not educated, capable, skilled and as qualified to make the same salary as her male colleagues, but it's because she’s a woman. And that, in turn, affects the livelihood of that woman, her husband, and their family.

Men, in particular, dismiss the fact that the gender pay gap exists and others don’t understand it unless they really try to look at the situation from a perspective that isn't their own or until it costs them something. This is one of many issues women would love to not ever have to talk about again. But until there is equal pay between the sexes, women, along with advocacy groups, entire cities and businesses will continue to fight for it. Berlin, it’s metro system and all of the businesses pledging to support women with these pay gap fares should be praised for action on this issue.