March 8th, marks the day when the whole world unites to celebrate the victories, achievements and to appreciate the efforts put by female gender in order to make this world a better place.
International Women’s Day is also a day to address the issues which female gender faces every day in their life. And, there are so many issues to discuss; we are focusing on one major issue, the issue which is the main big hurdle in gender equality, i.e Gender Gap.
What is Gender Pay Gap?
The gender pay gap is the difference between women’s and men’s average weekly full-time equivalent earnings, expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. The Agency calculates the national gender pay gap using Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Average Weekly Full-Time Earnings data (cat. No. 6302.0). The national gender pay gap is currently 16.2% and has hovered between 15% and 19% for the past two decades.
The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of interrelated work, family and societal factors, including stereotypes about the work women and men ‘should’ do, and the way women and men ‘should’ engage in the workforce. Other factors that contribute to the gender pay gap include:
Women and men working in different industries (industrial segregation) and different jobs (occupational segregation). Historically, female-dominated industries and jobs have attracted lower wages than male-dominated industries and jobs
a lack of women in senior positions, and a lack of part-time or flexible senior roles. Women are more likely than men to work part-time or flexibly because they still undertake most of the society’s unpaid caring work and may find it difficult to access senior roles
Women’s more precarious attachment to the workforce (largely due to their unpaid caring responsibilities)
Differences in education, work experience, and seniority
Discrimination, both direct and indirect.
Gender pay gaps can also be calculated for industries, occupations, and individual organizations.
In a time when the lines between the genders are starting to blur, the World Economic Forum released its Global Gender Gap Index this week, suggesting we have to wait another 170 years for worldwide gender parity.
1. Women Earn Less Money Than Men
The WEF reports that women’s average earnings are almost half those of men. That’s right, one-half! The average global earned income for women was estimated at Rs. 7,54,460 ($10,778) and the average men’s income was about Rs 13,91,110 ($19,873). Sadly, many women who earn money have a hard time investing it – 36% of the countries regulate women’s access to financial services. When it comes to opening a bank account, men again outnumber women. Sixty-three percent of men worldwide have bank accounts, while only 56% of women do.
Here’s Academy Award winning Actress Patricia Arquette address the ‘Gender Pay Gap’ issue in her Oscar acceptance speech.
2. Progress Is Slow (And Occasionally Backwards)
With regard to money earning, the gender gap has only narrowed 2% in the last ten years and has recently been headed in the wrong direction. When it comes to women’s economic participation, the world today is back to where it was in 2008 after a peak in 2013.
3. Women Take On More Caregiving And Housework
Perhaps not surprisingly, women worldwide take on more unpaid work like caregiving and household chores. On average, worldwide, men only do 34% of the unpaid work that women do. Sadly, research shows that this gender imbalance starts at a young age, with girls spending 30% more of their time on unpaid work than boys do.
4. Women Have Less Political Power
The largest gap that emerged between the sexes surrounded political power. After examining the gap between the number of men and women at the highest level of political decision-making (minister-level positions and parliamentary positions) as well as the ratio of women to men in years in executive office (prime minister or president) for the last 50 years, their findings weren’t so good for women. Women only have 23% of the political power that men have worldwide.
In summary, there is too much bad news. We’re talking about half of the world’s population. Waiting several lifetimes for women to reach their full potential is clearly too long. Fortunately, the countries with the smallest gender gaps vary in income, location, and lifestyle providing a hopeful sign that any country can achieve gender parity.
One characteristic shared by many of the top countries was they had a greater number of women in political power. It makes sense that women in power would prioritize advancing the welfare of other women.
Happy International Women’s Day.