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Frozen in time: gender pay gap remains unchanged for ten years


Faye Mooney
WVoN co-editor

A new report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has revealed that women worldwide are paid on average 18 per cent less than their male counterparts.

It also found that the largest pay gap between men and women is in Asia, where the average wage difference has remained the same for over a decade.

The highest number of  ‘unexplained gender pay gaps’ which can be directly attributed to discriminatory practices were found in Chile, South Africa and Argentina.

Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the ITUC said: “For the last decade we have seen women’s wages hitting a road block. The pay gap remains frozen in time almost everywhere.

“Part of the problem is that many workers are not paid a decent minimum wage.”

The study, entitled “Frozen in time: Gender pay gap unchanged for 10 years“, also found that a so-called ‘child penalty,’ which particularly affects women aged 30 – 39, contributes to keeping women’s wages low.

Male dominated sectors such as construction have the smallest gender pay gaps due to the relatively low numbers of women in those industries.  Those who work in them tend to be better educated.

Domestic workers are shown to have the lowest levels of earning and the largest gender pay gaps.

The study is the third of its kind produced by the ITUC, and is more far-reaching than ever before.  It was put together using information from 43 countries – double the number in the previous report.

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