The gender pay gap is the difference between a man’s and a woman’s salary. This involves some factors such as time off from work, discrimination or socialization.
Even if they do the same job, women are paid 23 percent less than men as women make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This figure is even higher in some regions and among certain communities. In the U.S., African American women earn only 60 cents, Native American women 59 cents and Hispanic women 55 cents for every $1 that white men earn.
During the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting, UN Women and the International Labor Organisation (ILO) launched the high-profile Equal Pay Platform of Champions to raise awareness on this global issue that affects us all. These are some stories that could be heard in this meeting:
"I have two gold medals, I won a World Cup with my country... but I actually have to worry about paying my bills now" stated Abby Wambach, the retired U.S. soccer player. Before the enactment of Title IX, which guarantees that no person in the U.S. can be discriminated on the basis of sex in education receiving federal funds, opportunities for women in sports were extremely limited as women received only two percent of academic athletic budgets. Thanks to this law, the percentage is now forty, but its existence is now threatened by the new administration.
Women working for the textile industry in Bangladesh, the world's second largest textile industry, have not access to their basic human rights to the extent that millions of families live in poverty. In December, protests erupted in the country as garment workers took to the streets to demand a monthly minimum wage increase from 67 dollars to 187 dollars. The call was rejected, more than 1500 workers were fired, and over 40 arrested.
But there is also good news. Iceland recently became the first country to require equal pay for all and hopes to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022. Iceland's Social Affairs and Equality Minister T. Viglundsson affirmed that, even if the country has laws banning pay discrimination since 1961, it still has a gender pay gap of around 7 percent.
Those were only some examples of this sad reality, but unfortunately, we could continue writing thousands of books about it. That’s why we all have to do our bit and keep fighting for an equal world.
Source: Yakupitiyage, Tharanga (14/03/2017). AllAfrica Global Media. Africa: Women's Pay Gap 'Biggest Robbery in History' - UN Women [http://allafrica.com/stories/201703180002.html]