International Women’s Day 2017

The 2017 theme for International Women's Day, 8 March, focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”. It is a call for Gender Equality by ensuring that the world of work works for all women.

The world of work is changing, with significant implications for women. There is need for “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.”

Work statistics -Men Vs Women

  1. Only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men.
  2. An overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidizing care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection (Women still predominantly occupy jobs that pay less and provide no benefits).
  3. They earn less than men, even as they shoulder the enormous—and economically essential—burden of unpaid care and domestic work.

Around the world, women do the vast majority of the unpaid work, including child care, cooking, cleaning and farming. This unpaid work is essential for households and economies to function, but it is also valued less than paid work.

Some hard facts!

  1. Globally, women only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value. This is a major cause of lifetime income inequality.
  2. Women are more likely to be unemployed than men worldwide, with wide disparities regionally.
  3. Women are concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill work with greater job insecurity and under-represented in decision-making roles and fields such as science and technology.
  4. Violence against women in the world of work is a human rights violation that affects women regardless of age, location, income or social status. In the European Union, for instance, 55 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment at least once since the age of 15. Of these, 32 per cent experienced it in a place of work.
  5. Only 67 countries have laws against Gender discrimination in hiring practices. In 18 countries, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working
  • Every woman should enjoy her right to decent work.
  • Women have a right to participate equally.
  • Women make a huge economic contribution that fills gaps in services.
  • Any job is a woman’s job

What should be done?

  1. Call for passing and enforcing laws and regulations upholding the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. Ensure that businesses do their part to close the gender pay gap.
  2. Enact paid parental leave and flexible work policies, provide child care, and encourage public and private employers to aim for gender parity at all levels of hiring.
  3. Pass policies that reduce and redistribute unpaid work, such as through more paid jobs in the care economy, and encourage men to share care and domestic work.
  4. Invest in systems to provide water, electricity, transportation and other essentials that reduce household labour.
  5. Extend social protection and minimum living wages, promote the transition to formal employment
  6. Take urgent policy action to eliminate barriers that discriminate against women workers.
  7. Provide education and training for women that open opportunities for women in the changing world of work.
  8. Aim for gender parity in decision-making positions in trade unions, worker and employer organizations and corporate boards
  9. Governments, employers and organized workers to jointly promote the human and labour rights of all women workers.
  10. Enact and implement laws and policies to criminalize all forms of workplace harassment and gender-based violence.
  11. Work with unions, employers and advocates for informal workers so all women know their rights and can seek redress for violations
  12. Remove all discriminatory labour legislation in line with CEDAW.
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