As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the UN has carefully selected a theme that focuses on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.
The 2017 Theme: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” is part of the UN’s efforts to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, and build momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
This theme is timely, and hugely relevant in today’s world. The gender pay gap may be slowly narrowing, but still seems like a gaping chasm. The latest research shows that it now stands at 24 per cent; globally, women earn an average $100 for every $140 men earn. Women are also less likely than men to have paid work, at 50 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively.
According to the new report, developed countries could see the gap close as soon as 2044, shortening the time to pay parity by 36 years. Developing countries could see their gender pay gap close by 2066, which is 100 years earlier than expected, but still a long way off.
Pregnancy and the workplace
Pregnant women and new mothers face a range of problems and issues within the workplace. Despite legislation that is supposed to protects pregnant women from discrimination,
Last year, our Safe Motherhood Report found that pregnancy impacted working conditions for a significant proportion of women across Europe. The report explored the issue of work during and after pregnancy, seeking women’s perspectives on how their pregnancy had impacted their jobs and careers.
Shockingly, over one-third of women said their pregnancy had hampered their advancement in their workplace, while 14 per cent said they felt actively discriminated against.
The report also found that many women returned to work quite soon after giving birth, with more than 50 per cent returning to part-time or full-time work within three months of giving birth. In addition, a number of women reported changed conditions and/or difficulties upon their return to work.
Maternity leave policy varies considerably between countries, as well as individual employers. It has been well-documented that many women do not even take their full maternity leave entitlement, citing fears about job security and failure to progress.
We need to change the narrative around pregnancy and the workplace, making motherhood and careers compatible. At Safe Motherhood Week we support the UN’s goals in relation to gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
Download the report to find out more.