Women's wage gap could last another 70 years, says ILO

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The International Labour Organization found that the overall proportion of women working has barely changed in two decades. Photo: World Bank/Dominic Chavez

Women are losing ground in the world of work and it could take more than 70 years to reach pay parity with men, the UN said Monday.

In a report published by the UN's International Labour Organization (ILO), this gender inequality persists across a wide range of professions, all over the world.

According to the ILO, women continue to work longer hours in the lowest paid occupational sectors.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The data from the International Labour Organization report into 178 countries is clear: inequality between women and men is barely improving across vast parts of the global labour market.

And in some regions, the job options for millions of women are in fact worse now than they were in 1995, with the proportion of women in work almost unchanged in the last 20 years.

In Latin America however, more women are working as a percentage of the population than two decades ago.

Improved education and a lower birth rate are believed to be the reasons why.

Despite these modest gains, for ILO's Lawrence Johnson, it's a case of missed opportunities:

"Over the last two decades women's progress in education, achievements have not translated into improvements in the world of work."

The gender gap between men and women at work is highest in Arab countries, northern Africa and Southern Asia.

Another key concern the ILO has is the kind of work women have to do.

For while it's perhaps no great surprise to hear that women are the ones who do the bulk of the household chores or look after relatives for free, these are in fact key obstacles to finding longer-term, better skilled and better paid jobs.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'11"


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