Peru, Wednesday October 17, 2012 – The wage gap between men and women in the
Caribbean and Latin America remains significant despite recent advances,
according to a new Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) study.
released in Peru at a high-level meeting of experts, including United Nations
(UN) Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and United States Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, the study was part of an exercise that explored ways to
achieve gender equality in the labour markets.
“New Century, Old Disputes”, the study compared surveys of representative
households in 18 Caribbean and Latin American countries and also examined wage
differences across ethnic minorities of the region.
pointed out that in spite of some gains, with the average gender wage gap
decreasing from 25 to 17 percent between 1992 and 2007, the disparity remained,
leaving much to be addressed.
household surveys showed that women hold only 33 percent of the better-paid
professional jobs in the region, including those related to architecture, law
wage gap between men and women in these professions is notably higher: 58
percent on average, according to the study.
study indicated that these jobs require quantitative skills, and despite the
fact that women lead men by half a year of education on average, they tend to
focus on careers like psychology, teaching or nursing, where those skills are
terms of women’s participation in the work force, there has been progress in
recent decades, but the wage gap between men and women still prevails,” said
Hugo Ñopo, author of the study and an IDB specialist in education.
process of closing this gap has been very slow because misguided stereotypes
and perceptions of the roles of men and women have distorted interactions, not
only in the workplace but also at home.”
study pointed out that women have a tendency to work part-time, on a
self-employed basis and in informal activities, and indicated that while one in
every 10 men works part-time, one in every four women works on this basis.
labour flexibility, which allows women to participate in labour markets while
still being able to take care of multiple responsibilities at home, comes at a
cost reflected in lower wages,” the study noted.
added that women usually entered the labour market at a later stage and
participated in it irregularly, in order to raise children, for example.
might deter their experience and professional development, thus increasing the
wage gap with age,” the study found.
made in the study to close the gender wage gap included distributing household
chores equally, encouraging women to study science and mathematics, and
adopting measures that afforded them a better chance to participate in labour
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