Saturday, June 15, 2019

Gender pay gap in Nepal narrowing in a decade

Though, there is still a wide disparity in payment between male and female workers in Nepal, it has been narrowing down since a decade.
According to a Labour Force Survey 2019, Nepali women earn 29.45 per cent less than their male counterparts on an average, even if the level of education among both the genders is the same. But the Labour Force Survey in 2008 had revealed that the monthly female earning was 40.5 per cent less than what their male counterparts used to earn at the time.
Director at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Nepal Richard Howard, said that the gender pay gap, though a global issue, is comparatively higher in Nepal owing to deeply rooted discrimination between men and women in Nepali society. “The global average gender pay gap is 20 per cent, while it is almost 30 per cent in Nepal,” he said, suggesting Nepal to reduce the gender pay gap by strictly enforcing legal provisions that guarantee equal treatment between males and females in all fronts. “The government, related organisations, society and the entire country should fight against such gender discrimination.”
According to the latest Labour Force Survey 2019 – conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) – the male workers in Nepal with tertiary education – education beyond the higher secondary level – earn Rs 28,341 per month on an average, whereas female workers with the same level of education earns only Rs 19,993 on an average monthly.
The report also revealed that the gender pay gap exists at all levels of education, from those workers who have acquired early childhood education to those with bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees. “On an average, male workers who have completed bachelor’s or equivalent degree are earning Rs 25,636 per month, some 29 per cent more than women with the same education level, who are earning only Rs 18,200 per month,” the report reads, adding that monthly average income of male workers with master’s degree stands at Rs 32,250, while female workers with the same degree have been earning only Rs 24,733 per month, some 23 per cent less than their male counterparts.
Likewise, female workers with doctorate degree are paid 5.7 per cent less than their male counterparts. “While female workers with doctorate earn Rs 34,723, their male counterparts with the same education earn Rs 36,831 a month on average.”
There is a huge gender pay gap in Nepal and across the world primarily because of the deeply rooted patriarchal spirit in society, which falsely assumes that men are physically and mentally ahead of women. The gender pay gap is the result of many factors including occupational segregation, bias against working mothers and direct pay discrimination, according to the ILO. Likewise, according to a recent report by Oxfam India, women in India get nearly one-third or 34 per cent less wages than men.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the 2016 Global Gender Index (GGI) revealed that Nepal ranks 110th out of 144 countries on gender parity. “Nepal score for GGI index is 0.661, with 1 representing gender parity,” it stated, adding that the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Gender Inequality Index (GII) gave Nepal a score of 0.497 in 2015 with 0 representing equality. “In GII – which measures reproductive health, empowerment and economic status – Nepal ranks 115th out of 188 countries for gender equality,” according to the UNDP.
Likewise, United Nations Women (UN Women) revealed that Nepal ranks 110th out of 145 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI). 

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