The future of gender equality at work

All around the world,
women want to work, and get paid for it. And the majority of men agree. But there’s a gap between
women’s aspirations and the realities of the labour market. Women are less likely
to participate in the labour market. They face lower chances of finding a job. They are paid less than men, more likely to be
in involuntary part-time work and they are subject
to discrimination in the workplace. Traditional gender roles are slow to change. In every country, women do at least twice as much housework and care work at home than men… unpaid. When paid and unpaid work is combined, women work longer days than men. Around the world, women and men agree: balancing work and family responsibilities, including lack of access
to affordable care services is the major challenge to women at work. The opportunity? Recognizing, rewarding, reducing
and redistributing care work and creating more decent care jobs
for women and men. More than one of
every three women worldwide has experienced physical
or sexual violence. Violence against women
does not have only have physical, emotional
and psychological costs: it has a significant impact
on national economies. Violence, harassment and discrimination can prevent women from entering
and staying in the job market, particularly in male-dominated fields. The global pay gap
between men and women is estimated at 23%… in some countries
women earn just 60% of what men earn for an hour
of the same work. Differences in education,
experience, age and career breaks cannot entirely explain why. The significant difference
is discrimination against women, direct or indirect. The Women at Work Centenary and the Future of Work Centenary Initiatives provide an opportunity not only
to make the obstacles to decent work for women visible, but to also spell out the action
needed to overcome them. The deliberate and bold choices we make will ensure a future of work
with gender equality at its heart. Major pathways toward achieving
gender equality and decent work include: Expanding the provision of accessible
and high-quality care services and creating decent jobs in the care economy. Laws and mechanisms to ensure equal pay
for work of equal value and extend social protection coverage. Ending violence and harassment
in the world of work and macroeconomic policies
that foster job-rich growth and address structural gender inequalities. This transformation is essential if we want to see gender equality at the heart of the
2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and make decent work
for women and men a reality.

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