Large gender gaps remain across global labour market: ILO report
Kathmandu, March 8
Despite some modest gains in some regions in the world, millions of women are losing ground in their quest for equality in the world of work, according to a new report prepared by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as part of the ILO's Women at Work Centenary Initiative.
"The report shows the enormous challenges women continue to face in finding and keeping decent jobs," the statement issued today quoted ILO Director-General Guy Ryder as saying.
The report, Women at Work: Trends 2016 examined data for up to 178 countries and concludes that inequality between women and men persists across a wide spectrum of the global labour market. Moreover, the report shows that over the last two decades, significant progress made by women in education hasn't translated into comparable improvements in their position at work.
At the global level, the employment gender gaps has closed by only 0.6 percentage point since 1995, with an employment-to-population ratio of 46 per cent for women and almost 72 per cent for men in 2015.
In 2015, 586 million women were working as own-account and contributing family workers across the world. As globally, the share of those who work in a family enterprise (contributing family workers) has decreased significantly among women (by 17 percentage points over the last 20 years) and to a lesser extent among men (by 8.1 percentage points), the global gender gaps in contributing family work is reduced to 11 percentage points.
Although 52.1 per cent of women and 51.2 per cent of men in the labour market are wage and salaried workers, this in itself constitutes no guarantee of higher job quality, the report says. Globally, 38 per cent of women and 36 per cent of men in wage employment do not contribute to social protection. The proportions for women reach 63.2 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa and 74.2 per cent in South Asia, where informal employment is dominant form of employment.
The unbalanced share of unpaid work limits women's capacity to increase their hours in paid, formal and wage and salaried work, the report says. "As a result, across the world, women, who represent less than 40 per cent of total employment, make up 57 per cent of those working shorter hours and on a part-time basis."
The cumulative disadvantage faced by women in the labour market has a significant impact in later years. In terms of pensions, coverage (both legal and effective) is lower for women than men, leaving an overall gender social protection coverage gap. Globally, the proportion of women above retirement age receiving a pension is on average 10.6 percentage points lower than that of men.