Women still earn less than men

05 December 2018 | Labour

Women earn on average 6.5% less per hour than men in Namibia, which is one of the worst pay disparities in upper-middle-income countries.

However, on a monthly basis Namibian women earn slightly more than men (1.9%).

The average hourly and monthly pay varies because men generally do more jobs that are paid per hour.

This year's International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Wage Report provides a detailed examination of gender pay inequalities in the job market.

The report identifies Russia as the upper-middle-income country where women earn the most per hour - on average 22.9% more than men.

It is only in Costa Rica where women earn less than Namibia, earning 6.8% less than men per hour.


On a monthly basis the picture differs though. There Armenia emerges as the top middle-income country where women earn on average 34.1% more than men, while Thailand is the worst country where women earn 0.043% less than men per month.

According to the report women continue to be under-represented in traditionally male occupation categories.

Within similar categories women are consistently paid less than men, even if their educational qualifications are just as good or better than those of men in similar occupations.

“When women do participate in the labour market, they tend to have more limited access than men to high-quality employment opportunities. One reason for this is the unequal distribution of hours of unpaid work in the household.

“Women perform most of the household chores and most unpaid care work, both for the household in general and for elderly members and children in particular. As a result, time-use surveys show that, when unpaid as well as paid work is included, women work longer hours than men,” the report says.

It points out that there is a common pattern in labour markets around the world that the proportion of women declines when moving from lower to higher hourly wages.

“Women are under-represented in all hourly wages,” it says.

According to the report the share of women in the lower occupational categories (unskilled, low-skilled or semi-skilled) is also much higher than the share of women in the top occupational categories (CEOs and corporate managers). Within occupational categories women have lower returns from education than men.

This may be the result of a range of factors such as pay discrimination at the workplace to “horizontal segregation”, whereby the same occupational level of women and men has different job tasks, according to the report.

It further says that countries with the highest levels of wage inequality are found in the low- and middle-income groups

Among low-income and middle-income countries, South Africa and Namibia have the highest inequality.

South Africa has the highest wage inequality with a Gini coefficient of 63.9, while Namibia's wage inequality is scored the second highest with a Gini coefficient of 62.

The least wage inequality among low- and middle-income countries is in Sweden, which has a Gini coefficient of 19.5.

The report indicates that the global wage growth in 2017 was not only lower than in 2016, but fell to its lowest growth rate since 2008, remaining far below the levels observed before the global financial crisis.

Global wage growth in real terms (that is, adjusted for price inflation) has declined from 2.4% in 2016 to just 1.8% in 2017.

In Africa real wages declined overall in 2017 by 3%.

In the case of Namibia the report says although there was an increase in real wages of 15.2% in 2013, it has since declined. In 2014 it declined by 7.9% and over the next two years by 2.8% respectively. No data is available for last year.

Over the past ten years there has only been a 0.4% increase in real wage growth in Namibia, says the report.

Senegal, the country with the highest real wage growth in sub-Saharan Africa, had a growth of 32.3% over the past ten years.

It says possible explanations for subdued wage growth include slow productivity growth, the intensification of global competition, the decline in the bargaining power of workers and the inability of unemployment statistics to adequately capture slack in the labour market, as well as an uncertain economic outlook which may have discouraged companies from raising wages.

The report highlights the need for better data on the distribution of wages.

It says many countries, particularly low- and middle-income countries, have very limited statistics on wages.

“An important question is whether the gender pay gap in a particular country is mostly driven by pay gaps at the bottom, in the middle, or at the top of the wage distribution.”

It says minimum wages have been found to be effective at reducing gender pay gaps at the bottom of the wage distribution, particularly when they are well designed and serve as an effective wage floor.

However, the report warns that to maximise the effect of minimum wages on gender pay gaps it is necessary to ensure that minimum wages do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against women, for example by setting lower wage levels in sectors or occupations where women predominate, or even excluding female-dominated sectors or occupations from legal coverage. Also, it says that much of the gender pay gap in many countries remains unexplained by differences in education and in other labour market attributes such as age, experience, occupation or industry. Therefore the unexplained part of the gender pay gap dominates. It is thus important to “unpack” at the national level the reasons behind this portion of the gender pay gap.

Similar News

 

Chained worker 'joke' backfires

6 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Labour

Nic Kruger, the owner of Kruger Trading Enterprises (KTE) Custom Body Work in Windhoek, yesterday vehemently defended the honour of his foreman who had chained...

Tucna slams spending cuts

2 weeks ago - 05 April 2019 | Labour

Trade unions are planning mass meetings across the country to decide on a response to what they describe as the government's continued “humiliation” of public...

Ompumbwe yiilonga moshilongo

3 weeks ago - 01 April 2019 | Labour

Konyala aantu ya thika po 364 000 moNamibia okwa lopotwa kaye na iilonga omvula ya piti, na unene oyoomvula dhi li pokati ko 20 no...

Economy in doldrums, says Tucna

1 month - 22 March 2019 | Labour

Ahead of the tabling of the budget next week, the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) released a scathing statement condemning the economic direction in...

Tucna a limbililwa konkalo yeliko

1 month - 22 March 2019 | Labour

Sho kwa tegelelwa omutengenekwathaneko gwelongitho lyiiyemo yepangelo gu tseyithwe moshiwike twa taalela, oTrade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) oya pititha omukanda ngoka tagu kondema...

Kahimise turns to Supreme Court

1 month - 14 March 2019 | Labour

Embattled City of Windhoek CEO Robert Kahimise has endorsed the reinstatement and dropping of all charges against suspended City Police chief Abraham Kanime, but his...

Procurement board denies 'tribal purge'

1 month - 12 March 2019 | Labour

The deputy chairperson of the Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN), Lischen Ramakhutla, has denied there is an ongoing tribal purge that favours Oshiwambo-speaking employees....

Skorpion Zinc faces losses of N$316m

1 month - 12 March 2019 | Labour

The general manager of the Skorpion Zinc mine, Irvinne Simataa, says a recent strike by workers of Basil Read placed the future of the mine...

Ina mu gandja po iilonga kaazaizai - aaniilonga yomatungo

1 month - 07 March 2019 | Labour

Ewawa lyAanyasha yoSwapo, ndyoka lya li li na okukala oshitopolwa shehololomadhilaadhilo olyiikutha mo mehololomadhilaadhilo ndyoka.Aaniilonga yomatungo omathele oya kutha ombinga mehololomadhilaadhilo ndyoka itaya popile egandjo...

Workers turn up the heat

1 month - 06 March 2019 | Labour

Swapo-affiliated unions and the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) have thrown down the gauntlet over billion-dollar tenders being awarded to foreign companies while...

Latest News

Anger grows over killing

13 hours ago | Crime

The secretary-general of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Job Muniaro, has issued a stern warning to Chinese businesspeople to “shape up or ship...

Warning of dire food shortages

13 hours ago | Disasters

The latest Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report has predicted massive reductions for all crop-producing areas in the expected harvest season, including cereal...

Solving your challenges with remuneration

13 hours ago | Business

We live in an environment of continued cost-constraints, skills shortage and labour mobility. At the same time, there is pressure to improve productivity, and improve...

ACC: Budget not enough to...

13 hours ago | Economics

CATHERINE SASMAN The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says the N$61.6 million budget proposed for its operations is woefully inadequate.The...

Do good for others

13 hours ago | Opinion

Human rights are needed to protect and preserve every individual's humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear in highlighting the basic rights and...

Auto giants battle used car...

13 hours ago | Business

Joe Bavier, Emma Rumney and Duncan Miriri - At the edge of Nairobi's Ngong Forest, thousands of used cars glitter in the hot sun on...

Violent Easter weekend

13 hours ago | Crime

The four-day Easter weekend was marred by a spate of violent crimes including a dozen reported sexual assaults and armed robberies, in addition to a...

Watch your mouth

13 hours ago | Politics

Only half of Namibians believe that they have the right of freedom of association, says an Afrobarometer policy paper titled 'Are Africans' freedoms slipping away?'...

E-tax rollout postponed again

13 hours ago | Economics

The finance ministry introduced a new electronic income-tax filing system in January, but deadlines are repeatedly being postponed.The date when the new system must become...

Load More