- The gender pay gap is the average difference between a man's and a woman's wages or salaries.
- The Constitution of India guarantees the right to equality and prohibits discrimination, and the 1976 Equal Remuneration Act reinforces this without prejudice to special measures like maternity leave. But laws are rarely enough.
- Gender wage gaps begin at home. In fact, early feminist posters would state that women have to do twice the work men did to earn half as much.
- We value anything that men do more than anything that women do.
- Men work in sectors that are better organized, better regulated and better paid.
- Women in India earn 27 per cent less than men in most places;
If a man got Rs 100, a woman can expect to get Rs 73, for the same job.
- In the United States, in 2015, women working full time typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent?
- At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s median earnings, and in some cases, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education. The gender pay gap is worse for mothers, and it only grows with age.
- Unequal pay for equal work is only one explanation for why women earn less.
- Poorer childhood nutrition results in poorer health lifelong and lower productivity.
- Lack of access to educational opportunities lock women into low-skilled or unskilled jobs, which, by definition, pay less.
- Society keeps women from acquiring more than functional literacy locks them into poverty.
- With poverty comes vulnerability to displacement and exploitation.
- In a crisis or downturn, women are the first to lose their jobs and the last to receive compensation.
- They rarely own assets and, lacking capital, struggle to raise money for entrepreneurship.
- Patrilocal marriage means they start adult life without the social capital men have that enables them to find work, raise credit or identify mentors.
- In India, women make up only 28 per cent of the labour force.
- On an average, women work 537 minutes a day and men 442.
- 66% of the work women do is unpaid as opposed to 12% in the case of men.
- The ILO estimates it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap.
- Society expects that women will put household and family needs above their professional growth. Girls often make educational choices that reflect this limitation.
- Women make up only 15% of those who work in the area of research and development.
- Throughout their careers women are likely to take time off to have and raise children or care for family elders. Anticipating this, they are offered less money and less responsibility at every stage.
- Women make up only 10% of publicly traded company board memberships.
The most important obstacle to wage equality, however, lies in our attitudes. When women value themselves enough to fight for their due, and when society values all human beings equally, the gender wage gap will cease to be an issue.
Pay parity and lack of presence in leadership roles are issues worldwide, not just in India. Every where in the world, women are underpaid at work and unpaid for their domestic work. A lesson in the textbook in Chhattisgarh in 2015 claimed that “working women are one of the causes of unemployment” in the country indicating regressive mindset prevalent in the country. Women carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household and care work than men. The invisibility of such women workers is essential for the survival of society and provides a huge and unnoticed subsidy to the formal economy. SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya says that few women get to the top because for most, it’s almost determined at entry that they would quit midway through their careers to take up responsibilities at home. If women could participate in the economy on an equal footing with men, India could add $2.9 trillion i.e. 60% of the $5 trillion GDP by 2025. Even if India manages to match the best country in the region on this measure, it would add $700 billion to its economy and increase its growth rate by 1.4%.