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Gender Pay In India: Equal Or Unequal Research Team | Posted On Wednesday, June 06,2018, 08:06 PM

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Gender Pay In India: Equal Or Unequal



Does inequality between genders exist in everyday life? You be the judge. You will see gender discrimination all around you. Does gender discrimination go all the way to salaries? On an average, women in India get paid 20% less than men. Not just unequal pay, unequal representation is also a problem. Women constitute almost half of India’s population, which is about 48%. However, they represent only 1/4th of the National Workforce.

The Female labor participation rate from 1901 to 1951 was between 28 -34%. This was much higher than the 1990s. So, it is time to ask ourselves whether we are going ahead with time or just lagging behind. India was ranked 108 on the World Economic Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Report 2017”. It is based on myriad dimensions from economic opportunities to political empowerment to healthcare.

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Gender Pay In India: Equal Or Unequal

Factors that contribute to unequal gender pay in India

Occupational factors

Female participation in the paid labor market in India is quite low compared to males. Also, female participation in labor is mainly concentrated to the agricultural sector. In North India (which is more patriarchal), especially the rural areas, labor is divided based on gender.

Certain activities like drying and storing grains in case of agriculture, have been assigned specifically to women. On the other hand, ploughing and harvesting are jobs specific to men. Female labor participation is higher in personal services, work at home and also the informal sectors like agriculture.

Cultural factors

Women belonging to higher castes, face more difficulties while getting paid work. The scenario is no different, even if women are forced to find work. Women from rural parts of North India face grave consequences, if they attempt to seek employment outside their homes. They would be forced to give up their property rights and leave their villages.

Women doing full-time jobs earn 34% less income than men. The gap further widens when compared to part-time working women, as they earn almost 42% less than men. Also, society requires women to be concentrating specifically on Childcare. It is assumed to be a woman's primary job. Owing to this, women take up part-time jobs. Sometimes, they have to take a break in their careers to care for their household, which results in women getting paid much less than their male counterparts. But what if a woman has no children? Discrimination still exists as they are assumed to be potential mothers.

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Educational and training factors

The literacy rate for women in India is much lower than men. Many girls drop out of school. Men have been raised with the expectations of being breadwinners of the family. Most of the money families earn is spent educating males. Women, on the other hand, are viewed as ‘future homemakers’ and an investment in their education is not much of a priority.

Unpaid work factors

The Human Development Report 1995 pointed out that women spend about 2/3rd of their working time on unpaid work, whereas, men spend only 1/4th of their working time on unpaid labor. In other words, on an average, women in India work twenty-one hours more than men each week.

The work women do in the fields is not officially documented. Paycheck India conducted a voluntary online Salary Survey. The analysis is based on 16,500 online observations and 13,729 were males and 2,771 were females. Data pertains to periods of 6 years between 2006 to 2011.

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Relationship between Gender pay and other factors

Gender pay gap and wages

Gender pay gap changes with an increase in wages. Wage groups from Rs 1-50 Lakhs have a gap above 40%. Wages below Rs 1 Lakh and above Rs 50 Lakhs have a negligible gap.

Gender pay gap and age

The age group from 50-60 years, have a pay gap of 157% whereas, the pay gap for age groups of 20-30 years is at 38%.

Gender pay gap and education

There is a direct relationship between education levels and gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is lowest for the 12th standard and is at 11.54%. It is highest for Post Doctoral Education levels and is at 180%.

Gender pay and same work

Gender pay gap is low at junior and entry level jobs. It is higher at senior level jobs.

Gender pay gap and marital status

Single women have the lowest pay gap at 27%. It stands at 40% in case of married women and divorced women. For widowed women it is more than 60%. Be Wise, Get Rich.

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