A recent analysis by the United Nations has revealed that women working full-time year-round earn just 81 cents for every dollar earned by men on an hourly basis.The gender pay gap, standing at 19 percent, is attributed to various factors, including age, education, occupation, and job type.
The report warns that if current trends continue, over 340 million women and girls, approximately 8 percent of the world’s female population, will be living in extreme poverty by 2030. Furthermore, nearly one in four women will experience moderate or severe food insecurity.
The report also sheds light on the entrenched gender gap in power and leadership positions. At the current rate of progress, the next generation of women is projected to spend, on average, 2.3 more hours per day on unpaid care and domestic work compared to men as seen in a report by Business Insider Africa.
This year’s report has a specific focus on older women, revealing that they face higher rates of poverty and violence compared to older men. In 28 out of 116 countries with available data, less than half of older women have access to a pension. In 12 countries, fewer than 10 percent of older women have pension coverage.
The report emphasizes the necessity of an integrated and comprehensive approach, greater collaboration among stakeholders, sustained funding, and policy actions to address gender disparities and empower women and girls on a global scale.
It concludes by warning that neglecting to prioritize gender equality now could jeopardize the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Kenya, specifically, has seen the gender pay gap widen in recent years, increasing from 31 percent in 2019 to 43 percent in 2020 and further to 46 percent in 2021, as reported by the Business Daily.
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This pay gap is influenced by a combination of factors, including the under-representation of women in leadership positions, variations in working hours, differences in education, occupational stereotypes, and career breaks, which disproportionately affect women compared to men.