Mike Licht (CC BY 2.0)

Wages paid to female workers across the globe will lag behind males’ for seven more decades if the gender pay gap continues to shrink at the current rate, the U.N. warns in a report on inequality in workplaces worldwide.

The Guardian reports:

More than half a century after the United States passed the Equal Pay Act, and 45 years after similar legislation in the UK, women across the world earn 77% of the amount paid to men, a figure that has improved by only three percentage points in the past 20 years, according to a report from the UN’s International Labour Organization (pdf) (ILO).

Over and above the pay gap, women face a “motherhood pay gap”. Women with children can expect to earn less when they return to work than childless women, with the difference increasing for every child they have, according to an ILO analysis.

The report, released ahead of International Women’s Day on Sunday, also shows that the gender gap in work participation has barely shifted in two decades. Since the Beijing Declaration on women’s rights was signed by 189 governments in 1995, the difference in men’s and women’s labour market participation rates has dropped by only 1%. Today 50% of the world’s women work, compared with 77% of men. In 1996, the figures were 52% and 80% respectively.

“The overriding conclusion 20 years on from Beijing is that, despite marginal progress, we have years, even decades, to go until women enjoy the same rights and benefits as men at work,” said Shauna Olney, chief of the gender, equality and Diversity branch of the ILO.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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