Equal Pay Around the World: Progress, Challenges, and Global Perspectives KEY TAKEAWAYS Nordic countries like Norway, Iceland, and Sweden have already implemented and followed equal pay laws for businesses. Discrimination in salaries for different genders poses a challenge in developing countries due to conventional societal roles. Africa has an Employment Equity Act to counter wage disparities but the lack of healthcare facilities and education keeps women away from work. The International Labour Organization and the United Nations are creating stricter and more detailed laws to bridge the wage gap.
As far as gender equality and fairness are concerned, equal salary for equal work is a foundational principle.
Various countries globally have made considerable strides in bridging the pay gap between men and women by way of
equal pay audit and other methods.
That said, pay disparities still exist in a worldwide capacity, even though the gap has been bridged slightly.
To that end, detailed below is the global state of equal pay, including the challenges, progress, and multiple perspectives on this extremely significant problem.
The Nordic Model: Leading the Way
Nordic countries sit at the forefront of worldwide efforts in terms of
equal pay. For instance, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden have all implemented comprehensive policies to help guarantee pay equity.
Not only are these nations built on equivalent payment laws, but their workplace environments also nurture a culture of equality of sexes.
In fact, Iceland was the first country in the world to require businesses to prove they pay all employees equally, regardless of gender.
DO YOU KNOW? Brazil introduced the Emergency Aid cash transfer program early in the pandemic, which provided double the benefits to women-led households. Enforcement and Legislation
When addressing pay disparities, a number of countries have recognized just how relevant legislation is.
For instance, the US has the
Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Each of these prohibits wage discrimination based on gender and provides legal remedies for victims of pay discrimination.
Despite this, some regions are still having difficulty enforcing such laws.
Challenges in Developing Countries
Developing countries are among the regions struggling to enforce laws for similar salaries.
As a rule of thumb, developed countries have seen the most progress in terms of equal pay, while the situation tends to be more complicated in developing countries.
This is typically down to a lack of opportunities for women, limited access to education, and cultural norms, too.
Therefore, in order to close the pay gap of different sexes, the broader societal issues must be addressed first.
The Gender Pay Gap in Asia
Asia is among the most diverse continents, meaning that the levels of pay disparity are incredibly varied.
For instance, nations like South Korea and Japan struggle with significant pay gaps. Meanwhile, other countries like Thailand and the Philippines have made considerable progress in closing the wage gap.
For many Asian nations, cultural expectations can stand in the way of pay disparity being solved.
These expectations include workplace biases and traditional gender roles which include a lack of
worker’s compensation policies. Take a look at the graph below that shows that there is not much difference in the controlled and uncontrolled gender pay gap. This is alarming as it means that women, though comprising 50% of the workforce, will still lag behind for centuries. Africa: Progress Amidst Challenges
While the gender-based salaries in Africa aren’t anywhere near where we need them to be yet, this isn’t to say that it hasn’t progressed in any way.
As with Asia, Africa is a diverse continent, meaning there isn’t just one experience regarding pay equity.
For example, South Africa has made considerable strides to address pay discrimination as a result of the Employment Equity Act.
Despite this, substantial wage disparities continue to create problems for women in multiple African countries.
This is often made worse by a lack of healthcare facilities and education.
The Role of International Organizations
The International Labour Organization and the United Nations are the two primary international organizations that play a significant role in promoting equal pay on a global scale.
For example, the Equal Remuneration Convention of the ILO establishes the standards for pay equity, meaning that member states are encouraged to adopt policies that promote appropriate salaries for work of equal value.
Creating laws for gender-based payment disparities has not been bridged even in a modern technological age.
It is a complex issue to deal with as every country’s social norms are different and varied. Bias does not stop at the workplace, it is a reflection of how the overall society treats women in general.
There are various international corporations, as well as government actions, that recognize the importance of pay equity. Therefore, a number of initiatives are being implemented to ensure that equal pay is carried out.