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Fact of the week



Nominal wages for women is roughly 20% lower than men’s

Millennium Development Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Target: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015

* UNICEF calculations for Developing countries include countries and territories in the following regional groups. Middle East and North Africa: Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Occupied Palestinian Territory. East Asia and Pacific: Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand.

Countries in transition: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine. Latin America and Caribbean:Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, ELSalvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru. Sub-Saharan Africa:Botswana, Eritrea, Kenya, Swaziland.

Industrialized countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

Data: International Labour Organization, LABORSTA database, http://laborsta.ilo.org, accessed March 2006.

*Estimated earnings are defined as gross domestic product per capita (measured in US dollars at 2003 prices adjusted for purchasing power parity) adjusted for wage disparities between men and women.

Women not only spend significantly less time in paid employment then men; when they work outside the household their average income is also far lower. Although, disaggregated data on nominal wages are scarce, the available evidence shows that, across regions, women’s nominal wages are roughly 20 percent lower than men’s. While the data show that gender wage gaps exist across countries, these can vary significantly and can even be inverted. In Brazil, for example, women under the age of 25 earn a higher average hourly wage than their male counterparts.

Because much of the work women do is underpaid and because they often perform low- status jobs and earn less than men, women’s per capital average earned income- measured by applying women’s share of non agricultural wages to gross domestic product – is far lower than men’s. Estimates based on wage differentials and participation in the labour force suggest that women’s estimated earned income is around 30 percent of men’s in the countries surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa, around 40 percent in Latin America and South Asia, 50 percent in sub- Sahara Africa and around 60 percent in CEE/CIS, East Asia and industrialized countries.

Data: United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 2005: International cooperation at a cross roads: Aid, trade and security in an unequal world,Oxford University Press for UNDP, New York, 2005, Table 25, pages 299-302.

Source: UNICEF, The State of The World’s Children 2007, New York, 2006.



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