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Women are less likely to participate in the labor market than men and are more likely to be unemployed in most parts of the world, says a new study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) released on the eve of International Women’s Day.
According to the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018 – Global snapshot, the global women’s labor force participation rate – at 48.5 percent in 2018 – is still 26.5 percentage points below the rate of their male counterparts. In addition, the global unemployment rate of women for 2018 – at 6 percent – is approximately 0.8 percentage points higher than the rate for men. Altogether, this means that for every ten men in a job, only 6 women are in employment.
“Despite the progress achieved and the commitments made to further improvement, women’s prospects in the world of work are still a long way from being equal to men’s,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy.
“Whether it is about access to employment, wage inequality or other forms of discrimination, we need to do more to reverse this persistent, unacceptable trend by putting in place policies tailored to women, also taking into account the unequal demands that they face in household and care responsibilities,” she added.
However, the snapshot signals significant disparities, depending on the wealth of countries. For instance, differences in unemployment rates between women and men in developed countries are relatively small. Women even register lower unemployment rates than men in Eastern Europe and North America.
Conversely, in regions such as the Arab States and Northern Africa, female unemployment rates are still twice as large as men’s, with prevailing social norms continuing to obstruct women’s participation in paid employment.