Labour, Jobs and Employment – Harmonization of labour laws, gender gap, unemployment, etc.

Gender wage gap highest in India, women are paid 34% less than men: ILO


Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & Employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Global Wage Report 2018-19

Mains level: Inequality of Wages for Women


Highest gender wage gap is in India

  1. Women are paid the most unequally in India, compared to men, when it comes to hourly wages for labour.
  2. On average, women are paid 34 per cent less than men, a recent report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found.
  3. This gap in wages, known as the gender wage gap, is the highest among 73 countries studied in the report.

India not alone in the race

  1. This gender wage gap has remained unchanged at 20 per cent from 2016 to 2017. Women are paid higher hourly wages than men in Bangladesh.
  2. In advanced economies (G20), real wage growth declined from 0.9 per cent in 2016 to 0.4 per cent in 2017, meaning near stagnation.
  3. By contrast, in emerging economies and developing G20 countries, real wage growth dipped marginally from 4.9 per cent in 2016 and 4.3 per cent in 2017.

Global Scenario

  1. These findings are presented in the flagship publication of the ILO, the Global Wage Report 2018-19, which was released on November 26.
  2. The trend holds true globally as well. Inequality is higher in monthly wages, with a gap of 22 per cent.
  3. In real terms (adjusted for price inflation), global wage growth declined to 1.8 per cent in 2017, from 2.4 per cent in 2016. The findings are based on the data from 136 countries.
  4. Overall, real wages grew just 1.8 per cent globally (136 countries) in 2017.
  5. In most countries, women and men differ significantly in respect of working time – specifically, that part-time work is more prevalent among women than among men.

Way Forward

  1. But in 2017, the gender gap was accompanied by a near-stagnation in wages. Real wage growth has been the lowest since 2008, the year of the financial crisis.
  2. With empirical evidence that gender wage gap is visible even with women with higher levels of education, the report advocated that emphasis needs to be placed on ensuring equal pay for women and men.
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