Gender Pay Gap

Gender Pay Gap definition: 

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency defines the gender pay gap as the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the workforce.

It is not the difference between two people being paid differently for work of the same or comparable value, which is unlawful. This is called unequal pay.

The gender pay gap is an internationally established measure of women’s position in the economy in comparison to men. It is the result of the social and economic factors that combine to reduce women’s earning capacity over their lifetime.

The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of factors, including:

  • conscious and unconscious discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions
  • women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages
  • lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles
  • high rates of part-time work for women
  • women’s greater time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities impacting career progression and opportunities
  • women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work

Fast facts

  • 60% of the world’s working poor are women
  • Since 1991, CARE has helped 8.4 million people join savings groups in 54 countries. More than 70% of those people are women
  • In every region, women do the bulk of unpaid work such as caregiving and household tasks
  • When one woman escapes poverty, she will bring four others with her

Women’s average full-time base salary across all occupations is 15.5% less than men’s.

Women everywhere bear an unfair share of household work. Women also don’t have access to important skills that could help them play a role in freeing communities from poverty.

We want to create a world more equal for women and girls. 

How is CARE empowering women and girls and achieving gender equality?

We actively help women to earn more income, prevent violence, get basic services and gain more learning opportunities.

Our programs support women so that they can have income-earning skills and own assets like livestock. We also help them with access to microfinance. CARE is committed to helping poor women and girls out of violence in families and workplaces. Women are getting better leadership skills through our work in many countries of the world.

Some of CARE’s gender equality programs:

STOP Sexual Harassment Project –  The STOP project is working in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to address sexual harassment in the garment industry. CARE is developing models to support industry, government, and civil society in preventing and responding to sexual harassment. Nearly 1 in 3 female garment factory workers reported experiencing sexually harassing behaviours in the workplace over the last 12 months. 

Village Savings and Loans (VSLA) – VSLAs – offer women a lockbox, three keys and some basic financial training. The program now includes more than five million members across Africa and other parts of the globe. 

Boosting Coffee Production – This program is establishing women-led coffee producer groups, enabling women to access technical training in coffee production. It’s also helping to change gender norms and roles around doing housework and caring for children, elderly and people with a disability. 

Leftemap Sista – Leftemap Sista launched in 2014 and aims to help girls live without the constant fear of violence, earn an income and make decisions about their own lives. The project operates in the provinces of Tafea and Shefa in Vanuatu. 

Further reading on Gender Equality