The Gender Pay Gap
Long-term financial implications of unequal division in paid and unpaid work between men and women
Discuss the long-term financial implications of unequal division in paid and unpaid work between men and women (within and between households) and the extent to which individuals and governments can act to mitigate the implications of these differences in the future.
The Gender Pay Gap
The gender pay gap has always being a controversial subject. The inequality between the pay structures between men and women have been traditionally been linked to the historical roles of childbearing and rearing that women have to undertake besides the regular jobs for normal maintenance. The traditional roles women perform both domestically in some places of work are unpaid. These roles have not been quantified in terms of their financial capabilities but their implications have far greater consequences than the male dominated jobs. The responsibilities that women bear are enormous and greatly weigh them down especially in their pursuit of quality education and well paying jobs that are more demanding.
The consequences and implications of the employment and pay imbalance between men and women are catastrophic. The women population will continue to dwindle as majority will sink to poverty as a result of the greater responsibilities of bringing up children while the lowly paid jobs have to be alternated with long periods of absenteeism as a result of pregnancies and childbearing complications. Reduced populations will affect the labor market as scarcity leads to more demand which results in increased costs of acquiring labor services. These will eventually lead to a spiral type of inflation.
Lack of adequate income will also result in ill health, more infant mortality rates and also will largely contribute to women powerlessness. It’s obvious that the inequality in wage compensation affects more women than men and as a result more women are shunning or postponing the extra responsibilities associated with childbirth and marriage. These difficulties have now become a factor in future population growths with countries like Japan and Switzerland experiencing low births that are not consistent with population imbalance. The numbers of old people are growing much faster than they are being replaced by the younger population. (EC, 2009b) Reduced population growths will finally lead to reduced labor force. Labor is a factor of production and its scarcity leads to more expenses for its acquisition. (Millar and Gardiner, 2004)
Inequality in income distribution between paid and unpaid work will lead majority of the workers to shun the unpaid work whether it’s dominated by men or women. All types of jobs have their contribution in the economy. The sudden withdrawal of one sector in the economy will affect the functions of the other sectors as well. (Goode, Callender and Lister, 1998)
The governments can enact legislation that protect women’s right in parental responsibilities and also enforce their rights in gender equality in places of work and compensation structures. The economic empowerment of women and the equality in payment compensation will ultimately lead to more productive society.
The provision of basic services and access to financial assistance in terms of welfare and job creation for women should be a priority for the government. The paid maternity allowance should be also encouraged by allowing companies that have more female employees tax incentives to encourage the employment of more women. The role of women in many households should also be factored during divorce proceedings and the wealth acquired by both parties should also be naturally split as such roles are necessities in life.
Individual men can also participate positively in creating a fair and free society where all people are equal despite of gender or pay differences. Individuals can assist the government in implementing the financial and social changes that may be required to balance between the compensation structures between men and women.
Goode, J., Callender, C. and Lister, R. (1998) Purse or Wallet? Gender Inequalities and Income Distribution within Families on Benefits. London: Policy Studies Institute cited in
Millar, J. and Gardiner, K. (2004) Low pay, household resources and poverty. Joseph Rowntree Foundation. http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/1859352588.
EC European Commission (2009b) Statistical Annex to the Annual Report on Equality between men and women
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