Reports show women remain disadvantaged
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, two new reports show that despite women gaining greater access to employment and education they remain disadvantaged in the workplace both in terms of access to paid employment and pay equity.
GLOBAL: A report commissioned by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), The Global Gender Pay Gap, reveals that worldwide the gender pay gap is stuck at 16 per cent, meaning that on average women are paid 16 per cent less than their male counterparts. Its analysis of official statistics from 63 countries reveals that while the gap is slowly narrowing in some countries, it is not changing or is even increasing in others.
Indeed the gender pay gap is likely to be even bigger than reported since information on incomes is not available for the hundreds of millions of informal workers and the different methods of gathering national statistics lead to large information deficits.
The report does show that collective bargaining by trade unions leads to greater equality between men’s and women’s salaries. “Despite decades of anti-discrimination legislation and changes in company rhetoric, the pay packets of women, whether they are in New York or Shanghai, are still significantly thinner than those of men. The positive news for workers around the world is that trade unions are succeeding in bridging the pay divide, as the data in this report confirms. Through collective bargaining, women and men get a better and more equal deal,” said ITUC President Sharan Burrow.
The ILO has also launched a report, Global Employment Trends for Women 2008. The report shows that while women are entering the paid workforce in ever greater numbers, the jobs they get into are more likely to be low-paid and vulnerable, with no social protection or basic rights.
The report points out the importance of access to decent and productive employment for women in creating greater gender equality and draws a clear link between economic growth and high rates of women’s employment coupled with smaller gender gaps in sectoral and employment status distribution. It concludes that most regions have still a long way to go in achieving full economic integration of women and realizing their untapped potential for economic development.
ITUC: The Global Gender Pay Gap http://www.ituc-csi.org/spip.php?article1880
ILO: Global Employment Trends for Women http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/docName--WCMS_091225/index.htmMar 07, 2008 – Anita Gardner