Gender Pay Equality In A Pluralistic Society


A measurable and somewhat constant inequality in remuneration of workers has existed in modern society right from time immemorial even before the days of the industrial revolution. This inequality is perceived correctly or not to be directly related to socio-cultural views of traditionally different roles assigned to the two sexes in most societies. Efforts have been made by scholars and economists to explain the cause or causes of this inequality and also to proffer practicable solutions.

Movements for Gender Pay Equality

For quite some time now, many progressive groups in civilized societies have been drumming up the consciousness of governments and economic policy makers as well as stakeholders in the economy and the labor market on the need to identify the causes and devise strategies to curb this undesirable phenomenon. There are two major issues here: the first is establishing the fact of whether gender pay inequality actually exists and if it does exist, why? The second issue is how can it be effectively eradicated if it actually does exist?

Understanding the background of Gender Pay Inequality

Gender pay inequality may be seen as a historical relic of traditional attitudes and roles assigned to predominantly male dominated societies in the past. Historically, women have been viewed as being weaker, less professional and less effective than their male counterparts. This attitude had been fueled by stereotypes as well as the fact that females were less likely to obtain quality training and education in the past than their male counterparts. This initially created seemingly justifiable grounds for wage discrimination between the two sexes. However, with the advent of women liberation movements worldwide and the advocacy for equal rights and opportunities for the girl child the educational and professional gap between men and women worldwide has narrowed considerably since around the mid-70s. However, quite unexpectedly this narrowing of professionalism and proficiency between the two sexes has not translated into eradication of wage differentials between the two.

Hope for Global Gender Pay Equality

Recent reports indicate that gender pay inequality in Britain stands around 15% in 2010. By 2011, it seemed to have shrunk below 10% for the first time but only because it didn’t account for median full time earnings. The very nature of a pluralistic society creates an inevitable need to address fundamental issues that border on discrimination and gender pay inequality is one of such issues. The economic situation that presently exists worldwide has created a situation where more women have become bread winners in their families. This necessitates an urgent look into the nagging issue of addressing the gap in overall pay structure between the sexes in most societies. Unfortunately the solutions are not simple being reliant on a broad spectrum of socio-economic factors.

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