New Report on Global Gender Pay Gap

Catching up on a backlog of stuff to post. Here is something that I should have posted for International Women’s Day, March 8th. There’s information about the pay-gap between men and women globally, and also information about the impact of the global financial crisis on women. Related D&S article here. Hat-tip to Bob F.

Brussels, 5 March 2009: A new report released by the ITUC for March 8, International Women’s Day, has revealed that the pay gap between men and women worldwide may be much higher than official government figures. The report, “Gender (in)Equality in the Labour Market”, is based on survey results of some 300,000 women and men in 20 countries. It puts the global pay gap at up to 22%, rather than the 16.5% figure taken from official government figures and released by the ITUC on March 8 last year.

The report also confirms previous findings that union membership, and particularly the inclusion of women in collective bargaining agreements, leads to much better incomes for both women and men, as well as better pay for women relative to their male co-workers. The study, which follows the March 8 ITUC Global Gender Pay Gap report, was written by London-based pay specialists Incomes Data Services and is based on internet surveys conducted in industrialised and developing countries in 2008 by the WageIndicator Foundation.

“This report clearly confirms the advantage which men and women workers gain from union membership, which is all the more important in the current global economic crisis when jobs and living standards for millions of workers are under severe threat,” said Guy Ryder, ITUC general secretary.

Other key findings in the report include confirmation that women with higher educational qualifications actually experience a larger income gap compared to males with similar qualifications and that the pay gap increases with age.

“There are a number of reasons why women still earn so much less than men, including overt as well as subtle discrimination against women in the labour market and in the workplace, the way that employers, especially in the private sector, handle promotions to better-paid jobs, and lack of maternity protection for women and parenting leave that both men and women can access,” said Sharan Burrow, president of the ITUC and of the Australian Trade Union Centre ACTU.

Read the rest of the press release.

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