Thursday, Sep 23, 2021 09:15 [IST]
Last Update: Thursday, Sep 23, 2021 03:33 [IST]
September 18 marked the 2nd annual International Equal Pay Day. This day also helps in promoting action towards achieving equal pay for work of equal value. In the month of November, 2019, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, wherein it proclaimed this day as International Equal Pay Day.
As per the UN General Assembly, voiced deep concern about the slow progress in women's economic empowerment and at the same time, undervalue of work traditionally which was held by women and difficulties in tackling the pay inequality. The General Assembly has urged action to reach the goal of equal pay for work of equal value to all, and it encouraged its stakeholders to continue to support the goal of equal pay for the work of equal value.
Despite Equal Pay already legislated by law in most countries, this day is, unfortunately, needed. The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, is clear that equal pay laws have failed to address the problem, so better solutions are required.
Women are paid less than men across the world. Yes, gender pay difference exists, reducing gender pay gaps is both a moral as well as pragmatic necessity, especially when the highest paid female CEO in the Fortune earns about $758,474,67 less when compared to the highest paid male CEO. This simply cannot continue, morally, all humans must have equal rights and they should have equal value. In the transportation industry, particularly, there exists wide gender wage gap, here the average male CEO is paid 45 times more when compared to female counterparts, a gap of nearing to $13 million exist.
In practice, the right to equal pay is hidden under a multitude of reasons which attempt to rationalize why women are remunerated less than men while doing the same work. Such explanations are often described as choices made by women, especially around low paying roles and career breaks, particularly parental or caring responsibilities.
The World Economic Forum has concluded that, a strong correlation exists between a nation's progress in closing the gender gap, particularly in education and labour force, as well as economic competitiveness as well. Hence, education system across the world should help instil a very thorough understanding about the issue at hand, which will help in catalyse the advancement of female representation, both for economic as well as societal reasoning. The Covid-19 exacerbates inequity on numerous fronts, it does offer leaders a vital opportunity to end the gender pay gap, this forms the part of the recovery plan from the pandemic, which tends to utilize both moral purpose as well as pragmatism.
In India, women earn 19 per cent less than men, according to a survey conducted by Monster Salary Index. It is imperative that we reflect upon this figure as it exposes the injustice meted out to nearly half of the Indian population. Equal pay for equal work is a human right to which all women are entitled. As a society, we should ensure that nobody is left behind due to discrimination. Mahatma Gandhi, during his fight against the British, firmly believed that India cannot be liberated from the foreign rule if there is no emancipation of women and they remain alien to the freedom struggle. Today, we dream to become an economic superpower but forget that our dream cannot be turned into reality unless we achieve equal pay for equal work.
The presence of historical and structural biases against the female gender in our society continue to hold back the progress of our nation. Unequal pay, disadvantages in access to resources and opportunities solely on the basis of gender, limits women’s ability to gain economic stability and researchers have found that this has a domino effect on their children. How can a nation progress if its women and children are subjected to discrimination? Therefore, it is imperative that we have equal fruits of labour for a better tomorrow.