UN Report on Gender Gap in Labour Market

Context : Gender equality across the world remains a far-fetched goal and no country has achieved it so far, according to the 2020 edition of the United Nations report on the state of gender equality in the world.

Highlights : 

  • The gender gap in the labour market, for example, has not budged a bit since 1995.
  • While the status of women has improved with regard to education, early marriage, childbearing and maternal mortality, the progress has stagnated in other areas.
  • The gender gap in the labour market has remained as it was since 1995: The gap of 27 percentage points has barely changed since then, the report showed.
  • Only 47 per cent women of working age participated in the labour market, compared to around 74 per cent men, according to the report.
  • The largest gender gap in labour force participation was observed in the prime working age (25-54).
  • This gap has remained unaddressed since 1995 and was at 32 percentage points as of 2020, according to the report. It was 31 percentage points in 1995.
  • In India, the ratio of female-to-male labour force participation rate was 29.80 in 2019 as against the desired ratio of 50 per cent.
  • The data in the interactive UN report showed how women remained under the burden of unpaid domestic and care work.
  • On an average day, women globally spent about three times (4.2 hours) as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men (1.7 hours).
  • Unpaid domestic work includes activities related to the maintenance of the household, including food preparation, upkeep of the home, caring for pets etc.
  • Family responsibilities and unequal distribution of unpaid domestic and care workers were among the primary reasons for women not joining the labour force.
  • Their participation depended on their liabilities and responsibilities in their household, noted UN. It found that women living alone were more likely to be in the labour market.
  • On an average, 82 per cent women of prime working-age living alone were in the labour market, compared to 64 per cent women living with a partner and 48 percent living with a partner and children.
  • Their participation rates in the economy were found to improve in the latter part of their lives after their responsibilities reduced — when their children grew older.