Gender pay gap is a term that has been floating around for some time, with various politicians and celebrities embracing programs that counter this gap. Yet the gap is nowhere close to being shut. Last year, Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, gained major international coverage for inaugurating a cabinet comprising of equal number of ministers from either gender. He justified this move on basis that it’s 2015 and so high time that world started ensuring pay equity and gender equality across all boards. While this has been a brilliantly positive step towards an equal pay approach, the same does not seem to reflect around the world.
The video above is another shocking demonstration of the society we live in. The male driver in the video is charged an extra dollar as parking charges because he has a penis while the woman is not required to pay this extra amount charged on certain genitals. The video ends with the driver stating that this policy is insane and then cynically pointing out so is the 10% less salaries that women are paid in contrast to their male equivalents. Why indeed, is it gender discriminatory to charge a man more or less on basis of the reasoning that he has a penis, yet it seems absolutely normal and routine when we charge or pay a woman less for the same amount of work? This blatant gender discrimination guising itself under the cloak of gender pay gap is indeed “insane mate.”
Gender pay gap is an imminent and long prevalent threat that has been passed off without censure for years under the façade of tradition and norm. Under-appreciation, non-recognition, and rejection are the sentiments daily felt by educated, talented women of the 21st Century feel when they are paid 10-30% less than their male counterparts for the same amount of work they do because of the simple reason that they have a vagina. The World Economic Forum recently released their Global Gender Gap Report analysing the performance on the subject of gender inequality in the year 2015. The report after analysing the various positions and progress made by the countries concluded that the progress, though substantial, is at a tortoise pace, and so the countries will finally achieve the goal of gender equality in the year 2133- 117 more years from 2016. Moreover, it discussed the inclusion of women in work force and the salary they are paid in the same respect. It was found that since 2006 an extra quarter billion of women have entered the work force and yet the pay they receive presently equals the amount men were paid 10 years ago. Furthermore the report referred to Economic Forum’s Industry Gender Gap Report released in January, 2016 that’s primary objective was discussing the role that women play in the economy or commerce of a country, and the subsequent treatment that is meted out to them. The female gender makes up half of the population and yet not even 50% of jobs in labor force or work place are held by women. Michelle Obama once famously remarked that “no country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half its citizens.” Today, the movement for reduction of gender pay gap is not solely based on a social foundation but seeks its justification on an economic platform as well. No longer is the need for inclusion of women and according them equal pay a moral cause. Female talent can be said to be one of the most under-appreciated, utilised and underestimated business resources, either squandered due to lack of progression or untapped from the onset. This resource touches borders with commerce variables like company costing, business efficacy; which inevitably influences a country’s economy.
The need to establish house work as a legitimised job like any commercial trade is of utmost importance as it gives birth to the notion that the work done by most women (in India a.k.a housewives) is the same, if not harder, than any job held by their male counterpart; and the same deserves equal recognition and respect. It has been argued on various platforms that work done in homes- in raising families- needs to be valued and brought to par with work done in offices, and decisions that enable a person- either male or female- to stay at home instead of work in the office should not be accompanied with censure or scrutiny. However; this goal seems like a far-away dream with women in Texas still earning 70 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Feminism is essentially about equal rights, opportunities, and platforms for both the genders in absence of any discrimination, oppression or disparagement faced by them in respect of their choices. Instead of choosing to look at gender equality as a threat or intimidation, it should be seen as an opportunity for newer, more secure and sustainable development;: a thought process that still needs to gain repute and support considering only half the gender population of the world is fighting for it while the other half is avoiding it like the plague.
“Support equal gender pay gap, help men get jobs.”
-Your cute, cuddly, next door neighbour,
Photo Credit: Flickr (Glenn Walker)