Gender Pay Gap- The Persistent Issue of Wage Discrimination

In most of the developed and developing countries women are still getting lower wages than men. the so-called idea of Equal Pay for Equal Work is just a theoretical concept.

The issue of the Gender pay gap has always been the center of discrimination against women in the work culture. Despite all the progress and development women’s still paid less than what is paid to men. The continuance of historic wage inequality Is a reminder of women’s subservient and pathetic position in the work culture.

Worldwide women make just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men and this is a very jarring number. In US full-time working women are paid an average of 83.7 percent as much as men. In America, for women, it takes 15 months to earn the same wage, that men earned in 12 months. The wage disparity in India is also very high. A report by International Labour Organization (ILO) noted that the gender pay gap in India is 27% as of 2023. This indicates in India women earn 73% of what men earn for the same job.

According to the Mercer survey on remuneration trends and index released in March this year has shown, in February gender pay parity was 1.8 percent in India. In European Union on average women’s earning is 13% less than the earnings of men. In sub-Saharan Africa, the gender disparity stands at 30%-40%. This disproportionate amount of wage inequality has made women in these countries more vulnerable and their plight is unimaginable.

The condition of women of color and women with disability is awful. They are being paid very less than normal working women despite equal work, equal effort, and equal contribution. This very problem is not just limited to any particular institution, but in every big and small institution wage discrimination has always been the very prevalent culture.

In Goldman Sachs (the leading Investment bank in America) male employees make more than half of what females make in wages. the Gender pay gap of Goldman Sachs stands at a whopping 53.2% which is a very sordid figure. Various lawsuits have been filed against the bank over time. On May 9, 2023, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay 215 million dollars to settle the gender bias lawsuit. This is considered a massive win for the women working professionals of the bank. The gender pay gap testifies to the very discrimination and inequality that exists in work culture across the world.

Despite the same educational background and putting the same value on the company women get less than men and they are overrepresented in low-paying jobs. Research also shows after giving birth women are paid less than men & even less than women who do not have children.

According to the survey conducted by HP, women employees applied for a promotion only after they met 100% of the criteria whereas men employees applied for the promotion after just attaining 50% of the criteria. This makes women’s financial security more vulnerable. It is not only a matter of unequal pay but also a matter of social injustice. Nordic countries are doing much better to fill this gap of gender equality. On Gender Pay Index Iceland are on the top and Finland stands at 2nd position. As World Economic Forum noted last year at this rate it will take 135.6 years to fill this gender pay parity.

Solutions to bridge the gender pay gap

We have come a long way but despite tremendous progress, women are still facing a lot of injustice in earning wages. There is an urgent need to bridge this wider pay gap. Governments across the world should focus on this very issue by making gender-friendly policies. And for making policies women’s percentage should be increased in positions of power.

The institution must look upon this very seriously, through various initiative and plan they should try to fill this gap. Various countries have done a commendable job in the direction of bridging the gap. For instance, Germany has introduced National Minimum Wage. In March this year, European Union approved pay transparency rules to tackle this wage inequality. According to the new rules, employers will have to provide all the information regarding their criteria for the salary determination to the employee.

India ranks 140 out of 156 in the gender pay gap index, which is very -very distressing. India should implement initiatives and it must bring policies that strengthen the idea of equal pay. Government and businesses should come together to contribute to empowering women economically. Although India has already made various rules and regulations to lower wage inequality.

India was among the first countries to enact Minimum Wage Act in 1948, and Equal Remuneration Act in 1976. But still, India has a long way to go for achieving Pay parity. It is the utmost responsibility of every institution to make work culture more democratic in terms of wages.

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