The fight for equal rights and gender equality has been going on for decades. However, while there’s much left to be done, studies are now showing that the pay gap is being narrowed down to a more equal footing than we may think.
These studies, made by the Office of National Statistics through the Resolution Foundation, have found that the pay gap has been steadily shrinking with every new generation – from 1911 till now – with the lowest percentage belonging to the Millennials or those born between 1981 and 2000.
But what exactly is the gender pay gap? This is basically the gap that exists between male and female workers, where males are paid more for the same amount of work. Malta is ranked in 50th place among 145 countries in terms of pay difference.
The good news is that at least, in the countries where these studies had been made, it seems that the pay gap between the full time genders is small, with only 4% of women in their 20s being paid less than the average male. Other issues are still prevalent however, namely the low amount of women in the labour force, according to the International Monetary Fund, which carried out a study in an effort to empower the status of women in the economy. In its study, the IMF concluded that while advancements have been made, women still face obstacles in the forms of tax and labour policies which keep them from achieving their potential.
This is especially true in the Middle East and North Africa, were only a fifth of women are part of the working community. Globally, female workers represent 40% of the total labour, which while substantial, can still be improved on.
In Malta, we also have some way to go, although with more awareness put into the morning-after pill for example, we’re making progress in terms of women’s rights. We’re still behind in terms of women in power, both in government and other jobs, so much so that in the recent World Economic Forum research, Malta ranks 104th out of 145, mainly because of this.
The IMF suggests that countries need to amend laws regarding tax family income for example, in order to stop forcing working wedded couples from paying higher taxes. This is especially true in France, Portugal, and outside Europe in the USA.
A lot of people say that the pay gap does make a big difference in how equally different genders are treated. It does make sense, as with money comes security and power, and it may be that employers do not want to give that up. It could also be that they’re trying to take advantage in order to save a euro or two, or more likely, both.
This article was written by our guest author, Sam Farrugia.