The government should set a target for the eradication of the gender pay gap by 2020, it has been suggested.
Justice minister Harriet Harman told ITV's GMTV Sunday programme that despite the Equal Pay Act of 1975, a significant gulf still exists between the salaries of men and women today.
She added that as the government has targets for issues such as carbon emissions and child poverty, it should also set a target for making pay equal.
"One of the things that I think we need to do is to have a legal requirement for a gender pay audit in the private sector as well as the public sector - you can't tackle entrenched discrimination in pay if it is hidden," Ms Harman commented.
Last week, Caroline Slocock of the Equal Opportunities Commission told Channel 4 News that the new single equality bill proposed by the government does not go far enough to tackle sex discrimination within the workplace.