Achieving Global Gender Equality

Not enough is being done to achieve gender equality across the world, a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has said.

The OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. In its report ‘The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle’, it claims that there has been little progress made since 2012, when it published a report on closing the gender pay gap.
“The pursuit of gender equality must be a priority to achieve sustainable, inclusive growth for the benefit of every citizen,” said OECD Chief of Staff and G20 Sherpa Gabriela Ramos at the launch of the report in advance of the Women’s Forum taking place in Paris. “There is no reason for women to trail behind men in social, economic, and political outcomes. Countries need to do much more to reach the gender equality goals.”

Obstacles to Achieving Equality

OECD countries identified three key issues that need to be addressed to achieve gender equality – the ongoing gender pay gap, unequal sharing of unpaid work and violence against women – and many countries see addressing these as priority policy issues.
However, progress is limited and many obstacles remain, says OECD, and although the number of women working is moving closer to that of men, women are still more likely to be in part-time roles, are less likely to reach management level, are more likely to encounter discrimination and will probably earn less than men.  OECD highlights that the gender pay gap across the OECD averages 15%, and this has remained relatively unchanged since 2010.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

OECD calls on countries to do more to help achieve equality. It notes that around two-thirds of countries now have equal pay policies in place, many of which require greater transparency on pay through gender pay gap reporting.
The UK is one such country that introduced a requirement on large companies to analyse and publicly report on their gender pay gap. It is now the law in the UK that all companies with more than 250 employees must publish their data on gender pay and bonus gap data as well as the proportion of male and female employees in each salary quartile from April 2018 onwards, and every year afterwards.
However, despite the fact that this requirement was introduced in April this year, so far only 85 of 9,000 companies covered by the legal obligation have done so. Companies that fail to publish their data by April next year will apparently be contacted by the Equality & Human Rights Commission, the BBC reports.

BBC publishes Further Pay Figures

Although companies are legally required to publish details of any gender pay gap, doing so could prove problematic for many.  Earlier this year, the BBC attracted extensive criticism when it published salary details for its on-air talent and it became apparent that female talent received significantly less remuneration than the male stars.
The corporation has now published details of a pay review covering its general employees, which has revealed an average gender pay gap of 9.3%, reports the Guardian.
This is less than the average UK pay gap of 18.1%, but it still has created further controversy over the BBC’s pay practices.
The pay review apparently found “no evidence from which discrimination could reasonably be inferred”; however director-general Tony Hall reiterated the pledge to close the gender pay gap by 2020.

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