It will take 217 years to close the pay gap between women and men: report

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Several women have raised their voices in recent times against inequality and discrimination at the workplace. Calls have been made by activists for corporations to make salaries public in order to eliminate the gender pay gap.

It will take 217 years to close the pay gap and employment gap between women and men, according to a report released on Monday by poverty alleviation organization Oxfam.

The Reward Work, Not Wealth survey said the elimination of the gender pay gap and the protection of the rights of women workers can be achieved if the wealthy pay their fair share of tax through higher taxes and a crackdown on tax avoidance.

“Women workers often find themselves off at the bottom of the heap. Across the world, women consistently earn less than men and are usually in the lowest paid and least secure forms of work. By comparison, 9 out of 10 billionaires are men,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International.

The report noted that the 3.7 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth in the past year while 82% of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent of the global population.

“The billionaire boom is not a sign of a thriving economy but a symptom of a failing economic system. The people who make our clothes, assemble our phones, and grow our food are being exploited to ensure a steady supply of cheap goods, and swell the profits of corporations and billionaire investors,” Byanyima added.

To address the gender pay gap, the United Kingdom has ordered major companies with 250 or more workers to publish their salary figures by April. So far 527 firms have done so, BBC reports.

Companies including Ladbrokes, Easyjet, and Virgin Money are among the major companies to reveal gender pay gaps of more than 15% in favor of men for mean hourly pay.

The firm to publish the biggest gender pay gap so far is women’s fashion chain Phase Eight – with a 64.8% lower mean hourly rate for female staff.

Employers with low or no gender pay gaps include the British Museum (0%) and the armed forces (0.9%).

This article by Ismail Akwei was first published on

Published by Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei is an international journalist, digital media and communications professional, editor, writer, arts, culture and tourism advocate, human rights activist, pan-Africanist, tech enthusiast and history buff. He has worked with multinational media companies across Africa and has over a decade’s experience in journalism.

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