Women’s economic situation today
In almost all countries around the world, women are at a severe economic disadvantage to men. This is despite the fact that two thirds of the world’s work is done by women.
Much of this work is unpaid work at home. On average, women spend 1-3 hours more than men each day on housework. They spend up to 10 times as much time taking care of children and elderly relatives.
Because of this unpaid burden, many women simply do not have the option to work outside the home. The current share of the global male population holding a paid job is 71% – compared to 46% of women.
When women do enter the labour market, they are often paid less, valued less and left with little protection from discrimination, harassment and abuse. Globally, women on average earn only 60-75% of men’s wages. They are less likely to be represented by unions and more likely to hold informal jobs. In old age, women often get lower pension benefits than their male colleagues.
Unequal laws and institutions make matters even worse. In some places, for example, women are not allowed to own land or inherit property.
As a result, many women across the world are economically dependent on others and live in poverty.