Women are having a harder time finding work globally than ever before, the United Nations said on Monday, while the gender gap in working conditions and pay has narrowed in barely two decades.
The UN’s International Labor Organization said it has developed a new indicator that does a better job than the official unemployment rate in capturing all those without jobs interested in finding work.
“It paints a much bleaker picture of the status of women in the world of work than the commonly used unemployment rates,” the ILO said in a statement two days before International Women’s Day.
“New data shows that women still have a much harder time finding a job than men.”
Globally, 15 percent of working-age women want to work but don’t have a job, compared to 10.5 percent of men, according to new ILO figures.
“This gender gap has remained virtually unchanged for two decades,” it said.
In contrast, the official unemployment rate for women and men is very similar.
This, the ILO said, is because it is used to disproportionately exclude women when determining whether someone should be officially considered unemployed.
It pointed out that personal and family responsibilities, including unpaid care work, disproportionately affect women.
It states that such activities often prevent women not only from working, but also from actively seeking employment or being available to work on short notice, which are criteria to be considered unemployed. Are.
The United Nations Labor Organization found that the jobs gap was particularly severe in low-income countries, where nearly a quarter of women were unable to find a job.
The ILO said the rate for men was less than 17 percent.
Access to employment is not the only problem.
The ILO highlights that women are over-represented in certain types of vulnerable jobs, including helping in relatives’ businesses, rather than being in work on their own account.
“This vulnerability, combined with low employment rates, affects women’s earnings,” the ILO said.
“Globally, for every dollar of labor income men earn, women earned only 51 cents.”
Meanwhile the wage gap varies widely between regions, with the figure falling to 33 cents in low-income countries, but rising to 58 cents in high-income countries.
“This remarkable disparity in earnings is driven by both women’s low employment levels and their average earnings during the job,” the ILO said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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