ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

This article is brought to you through the meticulous study of International Labour Organization as a source.

While there have been many achievements on gender equality since the Beijing Declaration on women rights was signed by 189 governments in 1995, many challenges remain, including a motherhood pay gap.

News | 06 March 2015

GENEVA (ILO News) – Two decades after the world’s largest gathering of women adopted a far-reaching agenda for advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, women are only marginally better off with respect to equality at work.

“Are working women better off today than they were 20 years ago?” asked ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “The answer is a qualified yes. Has this progress met our expectations? The answer is decidedly no. We need to be innovative, to reframe the debate and to intensify the focus on ensuring the rights of women at work, and promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.” (See ILO Director-General’s statement )

Progress in realizing the Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 has been mixed, the ILO said in a briefing note prepared for International Women’s Day .

At the same time, the ILO also published a new working paper on the “motherhood pay gap” that imposes a wage penalty often over and above the wage gap already experienced by women worldwide. According to “The motherhood pay gap: A review of the issues, theory and international evidence ”, mothers often earn less than women without children, depending on where they live and how many children they have.

Some progress, many challenges

In terms of policy, legislation, and the ratification of international labour standards, there has been notable progress. For example, in 1995, 126 ILO member States had ratified the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) and 122 had ratified the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) . Those numbers are now 171 and 172 respectively.

Yet women continue to experience widespread discrimination and inequality in the workplace. In most parts of the world, women are often in undervalued and low-paid jobs; lack access to education, training, recruitment; have limited bargaining and decision-making power; and still shoulder responsibility for most unpaid care work.

Globally, the gap in labour market participation rates between men and women has decreased only marginally since 1995. Currently about 50 per cent of all women are working, compared to 77 per cent of men. In 1995, these figures were 52 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. It is estimated that reducing the gap in participation rates between men and women by 25 per cent in G20 countries by 2025 would add more than 100 million women to the labour force (See G20 Leaders’ Communiqué from Brisbane Summit ).

Access to maternity protection has improved, though many women are still left out. While the percentage of countries offering 14 weeks or more maternity leave has increased from 38 per cent to 51 per cent, more than 800 million women workers globally, or 41 per cent of all women, still don’t have adequate maternity protection.

At the same time, states are increasingly recognizing men’s care responsibilities (See Maternity and paternity at work: Law and practice across the world – 2014 ). In 1994, 28 per cent of countries surveyed provided some form of paternity leave. As of 2013, this figure had increased to 47 per cent.

Today women own and manage over 30 per cent of all businesses, but tend to be concentrated in micro and small enterprises. Women sit on 19 per cent of board seats globally, and only five per cent or less of the CEOs of the world’s largest corporations are women.

While men are beginning to take on more care responsibilities, women continue to shoulder most of the responsibility for family care, often limiting their access to paid employment completely (See Global Wage Report 2014/15 ), or confining them to part-time positions, which are typically not as well paid. For example, in the European Union (EU), women spend an average of 26 hours per week on care and household activities, compared with nine hours for men (See Progress on equality between women and men, European Commission, 2013 ).

Violence remains a major factor undermining women’s dignity and access to decent work. Some 35 per cent of all women are victims of physical and/or sexual violence that affects their attendance at work.

A gender pay gap persists, both for women with and without children. In general, women earn on average 77 per cent of what men earn, with the absolute gap widening for higher-earning women. The ILO has noted that without targeted action, at the current rate, pay equity between women and men will not be achieved before 2086, or at least 71 years from now (See Equal pay, An Introductory Guide, ILO, 2013 ).

In addition, the ILO says it appears that the unadjusted motherhood gap tends to be larger in developing than developed countries. Globally, the motherhood pay gap increases with the number of children a woman has; in many European countries, for example, having one child has only a small negative effect, but women with two and especially three children experience a significant wage penalty. In developing countries, evidence suggests that the sex of the child may matter as daughters may be more likely than sons to help with household and caring tasks, thereby reducing the motherhood gap.

“The overriding conclusion 20 years on from Beijing is that despite marginal progress, we have years, even decades to go until women enjoy the same rights and benefits as men at work,” said Shauna Olney, Chief of the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch of the ILO.

“The ILO has launched the women at work centenary initiative to accelerate its efforts to support global action to meet this challenge and deliver on the transformative agenda on gender equality and women’s empowerment called for in the proposed UN Sustainable Development Goals. This change won’t happen organically. It requires specific, targeted, and courageous policy interventions.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

Human Rights breaches in Russia, Afghanistan and Burkina Faso

Your morning cup of coffee contains 140 litres of water

How each country’s share of global CO2 emissions changes over time

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

The EU wants to create 10 million smart lampposts

Gynecologic care in the 21st century

Easier Schengen Visas for non-EU holiday makers: A crucial issue for south Eurozone countries

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

Reforms in the Western Balkans and Turkey: annual assessments and recommendations

Facts and prejudices about work

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Is there a cure for corruption in Greece?

Nicaragua: MEPs condemn brutal repression and demand elections

Google once more under EU crossfire from a possible record fine and new Right to be forgotten case

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

3 natural mysteries that could be explained by quantum physics

Reconciliation helps ‘repair fractures’, enable lasting peace, Security Council hears

INTERVIEW: Poverty, education and inclusion top new General Assembly President’s priority list

This is how we can feed the planet while saving the ocean

Data capture, not disclosure, is the way to meet our climate goals

The Europeans back Russia-Turkey on Syria: A ‘Waterloo’ for Saudis and their Crown Prince

The US will impose tariffs on Mexico, says President Trump

On our way to China

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Checks, fines, crisis reserve: MEPs vote on EU farm policy reform

UN chief welcomes new Government in Lebanon, after eight-month impasse

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

Brazil: A strategic partner for the EU

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

Factory workers are facing a mental health crisis. Here’s how to respond

In the United States, there aren’t enough hours in the week to make rent

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

EU and Indian flags at EU-India Summit in New Delhi last October (copyright EU 2018, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service)

India and the EU get close to revive talks on proposed Free Trade Agreement

My twin from Guangzhou

3 ways governments and carmakers can keep up with the future of transport

Afghanistan: UN envoy urges further extension of ceasefire with Taliban, as Eid ul-Fitr gets underway

The Ukrainian crisis to destabilize Europe and the world for a long time

Rising human trafficking takes on ‘horrific dimensions’: almost a third of victims are children

VAT Gap: EU countries lost €137 billion in VAT revenues in 2017

UN chief urges India and Pakistan to dial down tensions in wake of Kashmir attack

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “European unity and cooperation is being called on question”, Vice President Joe Biden criticizes from Davos

International trade statistics: trends in first quarter 2019

One third of poorer countries face both undernutrition and obesity: WHO report

‘Revved up climate action’ needed to counter ‘prolonged’ and deadly storms like Cyclone Idai: Guterres

There is a mental health crisis in entrepreneurship. Here’s how to tackle it

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

‘Agile’, multilateral response vital to combat terrorism – UN chief Guterres

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Here’s how we can rethink the way we eat meat

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

EU-Singapore trade agreement enters into force

Davos participants call for digital trade deal

These will be the main cybersecurity trends in 2020

Want to shop more sustainably and recycle better? This app could help

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

EU and China resolve amicably solar panel trade dispute

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s