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

UNcomplicating the UN: a new podcast is born over coffee in New York

Anti-Semitism ‘toxic to democracy’, UN expert warns, calling for better education

Guterres appeals for ‘maximum restraint’ over Jammu and Kashmir, as tensions rise

168 hours left for MEPs – ECOFIN Council to deliver a Banking Union

Preparing the future today: World Health Organisation and young doctors

Global economy: ‘we must do everything possible’ to avoid global ‘fracture’ caused by US-China tensions, urges Guterres

End racist discrimination against Afro-European people in the EU

The new ethical dilemmas in medicine of the 21st century

Draghi to hold on zero interest rates until he leaves ECB

The EU condemns Faroe Islands and Iceland to poverty

France: New labour laws for more competitiveness

What will Germany look like after the next election?

Top UN court rules it has jurisdiction to hear Iranian claim against US over frozen assets

Happiness apps: how schools are joining the fight for better student mental health

MEPs call for decisive action to fight inequalities in the EU

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

FROM THE FIELD: Hardy seeds bear fruit to protect Colombia’s environment

For Africa, ‘winds of hope are blowing ever stronger,’ Guterres declares at conference on development

EU economic governance: More exploitation for the weaker countries

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

Visiting North Korea, UN relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs

An Eastern Wind

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

UN chief sends condolences to families of Malawi flood victims

UN rights chief ‘appalled’ by US border detention conditions, says holding migrant children may violate international law

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

Syrians ‘exposed to brutality every day’ as thousands continue fleeing ISIL’s last stand

The megatrend that will shape our working future

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Brazilian health: right or privilege?

Adoption of new rules to better protect children caught in cross-border parental disputes

Climate change and its adverse impacts on health

North Macedonia President, credits dialogue and diplomacy for setting a decades-long ‘name dispute’

UN chief calls for ‘solidarity, compassion and action’ on World Refugee Day

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Teamgum @ TheNextWeb 2014

IMF: How To Deal With Failed Banks

Service and Sacrifice: Malaysian peacekeepers in Lebanon proud to serve their homeland and the United Nations

The European Commission and EU consumer authorities publish final assessment of dialogue with Volkswagen

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

Why poorer people suffer more from climate change

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

EU summit: No energy against tax evasion and fraud

Yemen blast kills 14 children, leaves others fighting for their lives in Sana’a

‘Wind blowing in the direction of peace’ in Africa: UN Secretary-General

World’s Press Calls on the United Kingdom to Address Press Freedom Concerns

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

Collaboration and connectivity at ITU Telecom World 2019

Why Trump’s tariffs are good news for US garlic farmers

Trade deals’ pure realism: it may take 10 years for a post-Brexit agreement

A young doctor from Glasgow reports: in the UK refugees are left to rot

Euro-Mediterranean Assembly fixes its permanent seat in Rome

Seven trends shaping the future of the mining and metals industry

Homicide kills far more people than armed conflict, new UN study shows

Libya: €2 million in humanitarian assistance to cover basic needs

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