Women still struggle to find a job, let alone reach the top: new UN report calls for ‘quantum leap’

UN Women/Joe Saade Sandy Lyen is a 20-something artisan woodworker and entrepreneur from Beirut, Lebanon. Like many young, educated Lebanese women today, Sandy is creating new and innovative opportunities for self-employment by tapping into Lebanon’s growing market for locally-made artisanal goods.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Women’s job opportunities have barely improved since the early 1990s, UN labour experts said on Thursday, warning that female workers are still penalized for having children and looking after them.

Released on the eve of International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, the International Labour Organization (ILO) report found that 1.3 billion women were in work in 2018, compared with two billion men – a less than two per cent improvement in the last 27 years.

Men still dominate top job sector

“Glass ceiling” concerns over the lack of upward mobility at work also persist, given that fewer than one third of managers are women.

“Women are still under-represented at the top, a situation that has changed very little in the last 30 years,” ILO’s report states. “This is despite that fact that they are likely to be better educated than their male counterparts…education is not the main reason for lower employment rates and lower pay of women, but rather that women do not receive the same dividends for education as men.”

According to the ILO’s findings, women’s pay is 20 per cent lower than men’s, as a global average.

This discrepancy is linked to a career-long “motherhood wage penalty”, which contrasts with the fact that fathers enjoy a “wage premium”.

Worryingly, between 2005 and 2015, there was also a 38 per cent increase in the number of working women who did not have young children, compared to those who had.

This is despite an ILO-Gallup 2017 global report which found that 70 per cent of women prefer working rather than staying at home – something men largely agree with, the organization noted.

‘It will take 209 years to achieve parity in unpaid care work’

“A number of factors are blocking equality in employment, and the one playing the largest role is caregiving,” said Manuela Tomei, Director, ILO Conditions of Work and Equality Department. “In the last 20 years, the amount of time women spent on unpaid care and domestic work has hardly fallen”, she said, while men’s participation has increased “by just eight minutes a day. At this pace of change it will take more than 200 years to achieve equality in time spent in unpaid care work.”

Women often resort to more ‘informal’ jobs

In 2018, according to the report, women were more likely to work in low-skilled occupations and face worse employment conditions than men.

Women are also “more exposed” to informal jobs lacking social protection in more than 90 per cent of sub-Saharan countries, 89 per cent of Southern Asian States and almost 75 per cent of Latin American nations.

“Women are also often found in occupations that are the most vulnerable…such as in domestic, home-based or contributing to family work,” the ILO report notes.

Solutions are available, but it will take a ‘quantum leap’

In terms of solutions that can help create a better future of work for women, the report calls for a “quantum leap” of transformative policy choices.

These include creating or reviewing laws to establish equal rights for all sexes in the world of work, and repealing bans on women entering certain professions, or from working at night or underground.

Efforts are also needed to create “time to care”, the ILO report stresses, explaining that “greater time sovereignty is needed to allow workers to exercise more choice and control over their working hours.”

Those with families would benefit particularly, it explains, while Ms. Tomei added that when men share unpaid care work more equally, “more women are found in managerial positions” as well.                    

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

How Google is fighting fire with real-time mapping data

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

Donald Trump’s victory is a great opening for global EU leadership on the sustainability agenda

The opportunity of studying Medicine abroad

The age of influence: why digital platforms must come clean about political ads

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

First 17 “European Universities” selected: a major step towards building a European Education Area

EP and EU ministers agree on Erasmus+ programme for 2021-2027

7 amazing ways artificial intelligence is used in healthcare

European Commission: Does Apple, Starbucks and Fiat really pay their taxes?

Here’s the secret to financing a greener future

High-technology manufacturing saves the EU industry

Britain in and out of the EU

‘We cannot lose momentum’ on the road to peace in Yemen, UN envoy warns

OECD Steel Committee concerned about excess capacity in steel sector

These countries are best at attracting and nurturing talented workers

5 ways blockchain can transform the world of impact investing

The succesful cooperation

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Bicycles for the environment, new leader for the UN General Assembly, UN values, Ebola, Syria and Libya

This is how a smart factory actually works

The Bavarians threaten Berlin and Brussels with immigration crisis

Forget 2009, this is the real credit crisis of our time

Philanthropy is at a turning point. Here are 6 ways it could go

Turbocharging scientific discovery: with bits, neurons, qubits – and collaboration

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

We now know how much ice Antarctica has lost in the last 25 years – three trillion tonnes

Talking the talk: the voice-recognition disruptors looking to outsmart big tech

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

Protectionism doesn’t stand a chance in the age of connectivity

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

EU continues targeting on Chinese steel imports instead of the revival of its own economy

E-Government can be a remedy for the crisis

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

Changing for the change: Medicine in Industry 4.0

How is the global economy fairing 11 years after the financial crisis?

Yemen parties underscore ‘strong desire’ for peace, UN Envoy reports

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

Health spending set to outpace GDP growth to 2030

MEPs urge EU states to ensure better care of transported animals

The West is struggling to hit its climate targets. What would the developing world do differently?

These 11 EU states already meet their 2020 renewable energy targets

Yoga as medicined for the mental distress amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: integrative and complementary practices

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Climate crisis and food risks, fresh violence threat for millions of Syrians, calls for calm in Kashmir

Global warming: our responsibility

Here’s how one business leader is tackling injustice: It starts with personal commitment

How digital is your country? Europe needs Digital Single Market to boost its digital performance

The world just took a step closer to eradicating polio

How technology can help India breathe more easily

Nothing about us without us: how youth empowerment creates lasting change in the climate meltdown

A new era of computing is coming. How can we make sure it is sustainable?

Here are three ways Africa’s youth are defeating corruption

Closing the gaps in accelerating women’s rights: the role of medical students

ECB offers cheaper money despite reactions from Germany

Four lessons from Africa on building effective business ecosystems

Brexit negotiations: back to square one, tougher words, no good faith

Coronavirus: here’s what you need to know about face masks

More Stings?

Advertising

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