According to the Progress of the World’s Women 2015-16 report, South Asia has the world’s most skewed gender wage gap and is among the few regions where the gender labour force participation gap is both large and growing, a new report from UN Women has found.
The UN Women report comes 20 years after the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Globally, only half of women participate in the labour force, compared to three quarters of men; in India only a third of women are in the labour force.
Simultaneously, women shoulder the bulk of the burden of unpaid care work; in India, for instance, women do nearly six hours of unpaid care and housework every day as compared to half an hour for men. While on average globally, women are paid 24 percent less than men, the gaps for women with children are even wider. In South Asia, the gender pay gap is 35 per cent for women with children compared to 14 per cent for those without.
In addition, women remain under-represented in economic leadership positions, the report found. In 2014, across six of the most influential global economic institutions, women’s representation on their boards ranged from four to 20 per cent.