WOMEN
12/13/2012 02:54 pm ET

Equal Pay: New Zealand Ad Campaign Tackles The Wage Gap

Imagine a world where men are charged 10 percent more than women to park their cars just because they have penises. Sounds like gender discrimination, right?

That's the point a New Zealand advertisement hopes to get across. The video, produced by the YWCA of Auckland as part of its Demand Equal Pay campaign, features a couple arguing with a parking garage attendant who wants to charge the male driver an extra dollar to park for the day. The driver's response? "That's insane, mate!"

The video then cuts to a screen that reads: "So is paying women 10% less for doing the same job as men. Support the Pay Equality Bill." (Watch the full video at the bottom of this post.)

Dr. Judy McGregor, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, drafted the Pay Equality Bill.

Demand Equal Pay hopes to collect 10,000 signatures from men and 10,000 signatures from women to present to the government, showing support for the bill to be introduced in the House of Representatives. Their website homepage reads, "Discrimination is unfair, and in New Zealand it's illegal. So why is it still happening?"

The YWCA of Auckland has held several awareness-raising events, such as a "sausage sizzle" barbecue where men were charged 10 percent more than women, their website reported. In late November, the organization set up a coffee cart outside of Parliament in Wellington, NZ. According to Shabnam Dastgheib at the New Zealand National, event organiser Lisa Fedyszyn intended for men to understand the issue and feel angry at the discrepancy: ''If the percentage isn't zero then it's not fair.''

In response to the movement, the New Zealand Daily Herald called for reader's answers to the question "Should the Govt act over the pay equity imbalance?"

Some commenters likened the equal pay act to affirmative action, such as user Honek from Northland who commented, "I don't actually think that gender should be a factor, people should be paid according to their ability."

Others, like Liz Shaw from New South Wales, took a more structural approach: "Until men stay home to look after the kids and there is 50/50 childcare division women will NEVER earn more. It is that simple unfortunately."

The gender pay gap persists in the U.S. as well. According to Bloomberg News, women earn approximately 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Frank Bass and Jennifer Oldham reported, "At the current rate of change, the average year-round, full-time female employee would reach pay parity with the typical male worker in about 2063." In 2009, Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which reset the statute of limitations regarding equal-pay discrimination cases with each new paycheck.

What do you think of New Zealand's Demand Equal Pay campaign? Comment below, or Tweet @HuffPostWomen using #nzequalpay.

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