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75 years for a slice of the economic pie: you may be dead before women get equal pay

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

You may be dead before women get equal pay.

A new report released by Oxfam has stated that it is expected to take 75 years for women to receive the same amount of money for doing the same work, the same way, as men.

The report emphasises a promise made at the 2012 Los Cabos summit by G20 leaders to engage with and tackle women’s social and economic boundaries within society. And, in light of this pleading report, it seems more needs to be done in regard to this.

The report states that it wants this year’s G20 ‘to go further and assess its agenda and actions on women’s rights and gender equality’. In other words, not enough is being done by G20 countries; it’s a façade to say you’re going to tackle something but have no legislative policy implementedto help you do it (think the government’s ‘Direct Action Plan’).

The report is calling for equality in employment and more economic growth that is gender sensitive. Slap these things together and you’ve got a stronger and more inclusive female workforce that contributes to societal and economic growth and isfar more resilient in an economic crisis.

‘We want inclusive growth and what we know is that there’s very strong evidence that strong development, inclusive growth and women’s rights are all very closely linked,’ Oxfam’s Australian chief executive, Dr Helen Szoke said in an interview with ABC radio.

In fact, according to the report, GDP would increase anywhere from 9% to 16% in major G20 countries if women’s pay were equal to men’s pay, and income would rise by 20% in 15 major developing economies.

Sounds excellent, right? Well, not when you have to compile a report to plead for it. The tone of the report itself sounds as if it were talking to the G20 summit leaders with thin lips and stiff tongues, and one can see why.

According to the report, women are paid insurmountably less in G20 major economies; women are disproportionately in more part time work; they are over-represented in unpaid labour and they are discriminated against more in the workforce, as well as in households, markets and institutions.

This report is not just pleading, either; it’s mad and it wants change. In its recommendations, the report asks that gender inequality be treated as a ‘systemic issue’. Moreover, Dr Helen Szoke states that there is ‘a lack of ability or attention to actually putting in policies that ensure that gender equality exists.’

So, while the inclusion and discussion of gender based economic equality at this year’s G20 summit in Brisbane seems like a positive thing, Oxfam’s report shows that it might take longer to definitively change socially constructed economic inequality. Sadly gender equitable policy on the subject could to be visible only from the grave.

One thought on “75 years for a slice of the economic pie: you may be dead before women get equal pay

  1. Pingback: feminist news round-up 26.07.14 | Lip Magazine

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