More women work in health and care but they earn 24 per cent less than men: UN report |

The gender pay gap in health and care: a global analysis in time COVID-19published by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It records that the gross wage gap by gender is about 20 percentage points, increased by 24 percentage points when factors such as age, education, and length of employment are taken into account.

Discrimination one factor

While much of this gap is unexplained, agencies say it is probably due to discrimination against womenwho make up nearly 70% of healthcare and healthcare workers worldwide.

The report also revealed that wages in the health and care sectors tend to be lower overall when compared to other sectors, consistent with the results. Wages are often lower in areas where women are in the majority.

Furthermore, even with the pandemic and the critical role health and care workers play during the crisis, there have been only small improvements in pay equality from 2019 to 2020.

“The health and care sector in general suffers from low wages, large gender pay gaps and very demanding working conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly exposed this situation while also showing how important the industry and its workers are in keeping families, societies and economies afloat.” Manuela Tomei, Director of the Department of Labor Conditions and Equality at the ILO said.

Working mothers are fined

The report also shows that there are large differences in gender pay gaps across different countries, suggesting that these disparities are not inevitable and that more needs to be done to close the gap.

At the national level, Gender pay disparities tend to be wider in higher pay categories where men are overrepresentedwhile women are over-represented in lower-paying groups.

Mothers working in the health and care sectors also appear to be subject to additional penalties, with The gender pay gap widens significantly during women’s reproductive years and persisted for the rest of his working life.

According to the report, a fairer sharing of household duties between men and women could lead to women making different work choices.

The analysis also looks at factors that are driving gender pay disparities in the health and care sectors.

A health worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.

© UNICEF / Ismail Taxta

A health worker prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at a hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Dialogue and action

Differences in age, education and length of employment, as well as differences in the participation of men and women in the public or private sector, only address part of the problem.

The reason why women are paid less than men with similar labor market profiles, the report said, remains largely unexplained by labor market factors.

Ms. Tomei expressed hope that the report would spark dialogue and policy action as there would be no comprehensive, resilient and sustainable post-pandemic recovery without a health and care sector. stronger.

We cannot have better quality health and care services without better and fairer working conditions, include fairer wages, for health and care workers, the majority of whom are women,” she said.

Jim Campbell, WHO Health Workforce Director, added that the report contains success stories in several countries, including wage increases and political commitment to pay equity, as the way forward. next.

“Women make up the majority of workers in the health and care sectors, but in too many countries systemic bias He said.

“The evidence and analysis contained in this groundbreaking report must inform governments, employers and workers for effective action.”

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