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Rajshree Gautam

IWB Intern

This Study Shows That India Has Second Worst Gender Wage Inequality

  • IWB Post
  •  December 22, 2016

 

Today’s Indian women are more educated than ever but still underpaid shows this new data.According to this new data released by International Labour Organisation, women are paid 33% less than men on an hourly basis. This has earned India a reputation of being a country with one of the largest gender gaps in the world.

“Conventional wisdom has been that women have different educational attainment levels from men and are more likely to have career breaks that lead to lower levels of accumulated work experience,” the ILO says.

However, as education gaps have narrowed, particularly in developed countries, it has become clear that this is not a full explanation. Women tend to get segregated into occupations associated with “feminine” attributes like caregiving, and consequently these become undervalued professions, the report says.

In India, the gap between the educational attainment of men and women have decreased. At that, the gap between employment and wages does not show a significant raise.

In my opinion, the most shocking fact that this data highlighted was that Indian women make up 63% of the lowest earning Indians but just 15% of the highest paid one. Recent graduates consist of more female doctors and teachers than males. Moreover, there are now more female post-graduates in nontechnical fields than men.

“Given the higher probability of dropping out of the labor market (when having children), employers usually discriminate against women because they expect future interruptions; and this is the biggest barrier to even accessing labor market,” says Xavier Estupinan, wages specialist at the ILO in Delhi. Women should be encouraged to access these jobs, however, where education pays higher returns, he adds.

The average wages have grown by 60% in India over the last decade, and wage inequality has decreased. But in my opinion, things need to pick up a faster pace.

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