Women In Health & Care Earn 24 Percent Less Than Men: UN Report

Women in heath &care

Women working in the health and care sector earn nearly 25 per cent less than their male counterparts – a larger gender pay gap than in other economic sectors, two UN agencies said in a new report on Wednesday.

According to The gender pay gap in the health and care sector: a global analysis in the time of COVID-19 report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), wages in the health and care tend to be lower overall when compared with other sectors, which is consistent with the finding that wages often are lower in areas where women are predominant. 

It also documents a raw gender pay gap of roughly 20% points which jumps to 24% points when factors such as age, education and working time are taken into account. While much of this gap is unexplained, the agencies said it is perhaps due to discrimination towards women, who account for nearly 70% of health and care workers worldwide. 

“The health and care sector has endured low pay in general, stubbornly large gender pay gaps, and very demanding working conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly exposed this situation while also demonstrating how vital the sector and its workers are in keeping families, societies and economies going,” said Manuela Tomei, Director of Conditions of Work and Equality Department at the ILO. 

Besides, The report also projects a wide variation in gender pay gaps in different countries, indicating that these gaps are not inevitable and that more can be done to close the divide. Within countries, gender pay gaps tend to be wider in higher pay categories, where men are over-represented, while women are over-represented in the lower pay categories.  Furthermore, mothers working in the health and care sector also tend to suffer additional penalties, with gender pay gaps significantly increasing during a woman’s reproductive years and persisting throughout the rest of her working life. 

The reasons for lower wages for women compared to men within similar labour market profiles remain, to a large extent, unexplained by labour market factors, the report said.  

Credits: UN News

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  • Staff Reporter