Thursday, March 8, 2018

Gender inequality still persists in labour market, shows new ILO report

Deborah Greenfield, ILO deputy director-general

Deborah Greenfield, ILO deputy director-general for Policy. 

By John Namkwahe @johnteck3

Dar es Salaam. Despite notable progress over the past 20 years towards improving equality, gender inequality still persists in the labour market, unemployment and workplace conditions, updated International LabourOrganisation (ILO) figures disclosed.

An ILO study published on on the eve of International Women’s Day, marked every March 8,showed that women were less likely to participate in the labour market than men and were more likely to be unemployed in most parts of the world.

“Despite the progress achieved and the commitments made to further improvement, women’s prospects in the world of work are still a long way from being equal to men’s,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO deputy director-general for Policy.

She added, “Whether it is about access to employment, wage inequality or other forms of discrimination, we need to do more to reverse this persistent, unacceptable trend by putting in place policies tailored to women, also taking into account the unequal demands that they face in household and care responsibilities.”

According to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018 – Global snapshot , the global women’s labour force participation rate – at 48.5 per cent in 2018 – is still 26.5 percentage points below the rate of their male counterparts.

In addition, the global unemployment rate of women for 2018 – at 6 per cent – was approximately 0.8 percentage points higher than the rate for men. Altogether, this means that for every ten men in a job, only 6 women were in employment.

The snapshot also showed that women faced significant gaps in the quality of the employment they were in.

And while in emerging countries the female share of contributing family workers has declined over the past decade, in developing countries it remains high, at 42 per cent of female employment in 2018, compared to 20 per cent of male employment, with no signs of an improvement by 2021.

These findings also confirm previous ILO research that warned against significant gender gaps in wages and social protection.

“Persistent challenges and obstacles for women will reduce the possibility for societies to develop pathways for economic growth with social development. Closing gender gaps in the world of work thus should remain a top priority if we want to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030,” concluded Damian Grimshaw, Director of the ILO Research Department.