Close the gender gap: Act now

Monday, July 22nd, 2013 at 05:56

The OECD published a report in December 2012 that looked in depth at the effects of the gender gap in OECD countries. The results are not very encouraging.

In general, there is a 16% pay gap between men and women, it increases to 22% in families with at least one child. Women pay a high price for motherhood, with high childcare costs, little availability or access to facilities, and taxes deterring many from working more. In countries such as Australia, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, the USA and UK, 65% of a family’s second wage is spent on taxes.

There are some positive aspects: in OECD countries, girls outperform boys in many subjects in school and are more likely to stay until 18 and beyond. But girls are less likely to choose science or technology subjects, which has a direct impact on future earnings.

The OECD is encouraging its member countries to change their strategy, as they stress the fact that closing the gender gap will create more sustainable economies and create fairer societies, which in the long term will be to the benefit of all.

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