Today, March 8, is International Working Women’s Day.
There has been significant social change in the last century in the position of women particularly in developed countries. For instance, the idea that women should be paid less than men would be considered by most people completely out of step with today’s world. Yet nowhere has the wage gap entirely closed.
In New Zealand women are still behind in income by nearly 12 per cent. The gap last year increased, up from a difference of just under 10 per cent in 2014. For every $1 that men earn in New Zealand, women only get 88 cents. Even in female dominated jobs, men employed in those sectors have higher incomes than women. Occupational segregation remains and 44% of workers would have to change jobs to do away with that.
The pay gap has additional disadvantages, such as smaller savings to live off in retirement for women. The estimated savings gap at age 65 has risen from 28% in 2014 to 37% in 2015.
While the champagne breakfasts are taking place with corporate women complaining about glass ceilings let us celebrate today the achievements of working class women. Those are the struggles that matter.
Below are links to a number of the pieces that have appeared on Redline about women’s oppression and the struggle for emancipation.
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