IWD: Women have less access, take low-quality jobs – ILO report

In spite of notable progress on closing gender gaps over the past 20 years, women have less access to jobs, the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018 Global snapshot, said.

The report, released for the 2018 International Women’s Day, authored by the UN International Labour Organisation (ILO), said women were more likely to take low-quality employment, and face barriers to management positions.

The report found that women’s labour force participation rate worldwide stood at 48.5 per cent in 2018, which was 26.5 percentage points below that of their male counterparts.

It also showed that the global unemployment rate for women was six per cent for 2018, about 0.8 percentage points higher than that for men.

Altogether, for every 10 men in a job, only six women are employed, the report found.

“In spite of the progress achieved and the commitments made to further improvement, women’s prospects in the world of work are still a long way from being equal to men’s.

“Whether it is about access to employment, wage inequality or other forms of discrimination, we need to do more to reverse this persistent, unacceptable trend by putting in place policies tailored to women.

“We also need to take into account the unequal demands that they face in household and care responsibilities,” said Ms Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policies.

In regions such as the Arab States and Northern Africa, female unemployment rates are still twice as large as men’s, with prevailing social norms continuing to obstruct women’s participation in paid employment, it said.

However, women in Eastern Europe and North America register lower unemployment rates than men, according to the report.

It said women also faced significant gaps in the quality of the employment they are in as they are more than twice as likely to be contributing family workers.

This means that they contribute to a market-oriented family business, but are often subject to vulnerable conditions of employment without written contracts, collective agreements and respect for labour legislation, it said.

The report stressed that as a result, women were still overrepresented in informal employment in developing countries.

The report noted that globally, four times as many men were working as employers than women in 2018, while women continued to face barriers in accessing management positions.

“Closing gender gaps in the world of work thus should remain a top priority if we want to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030,” Damian Grimshaw, Director of the ILO Research Department, said. (NAN)

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