Gender gap at work far worse than expected: UN

According to the United Nations, women around the world face greater barriers to employment than previously believed, and the gender pay and working conditions disparity has remained relatively stable for the past 20 years.

The International Labour Organization of the UN claimed to have created a new indicator that more accurately captures all unemployed individuals who are actively looking for work than official unemployment rates.

“It paints a much bleaker picture of the situation of women in the world of work than the more commonly-used unemployment rate,” the ILO said in a statement, two days before International Women’s Day.

“The new data shows that women still have a much harder time finding a job than men.”

According to new ILO data, 15 percent of working-age women globally would like to work, but do not have a job, compared to 10.5 percent of men.

“This gender gap has remained almost unchanged for two decades,” it said.
By contrast, official unemployment rates for women and men are very similar.

This is so because women are disproportionately left out of the criteria used to decide whether someone should be considered officially unemployed, according to the ILO.

It was made clear that women are disproportionately affected by personal and family responsibilities, including unpaid care labor.

According to the report, such activities frequently prohibit women from working, as well as from actively looking for work or being available to work suddenly, both of which are requirements for being classified as unemployed.

Nearly a quarter of women in low-income countries, where the jobs gap was particularly severe, were unable to obtain employment, according to the UN labor organization.

According to the ILO, the corresponding figure for men was under 17 percent.

Access to employment is not the only problem.

ILO highlighted that women tend to be overrepresented in certain types of vulnerable jobs, including helping out in relatives’ businesses rather than being in own-account work.

“This vulnerability, together with lower employment rates, takes a toll on women’s earnings,” ILO said.

“Globally, for each dollar of labour income men earn, women earned only 51 cents.”

Meanwhile, the pay gap varies greatly by location, dropping to 33 cents in low-income countries but rising to 58 cents in high-income nations.

“This striking disparity in earnings is driven by both women’s lower employment level, as well as their lower average earnings when they are employed,” ILO said.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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