Gender wage gap hinders women’s role in labor market — experts

gender wage gap
(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — The International Labor Organization (ILO) said in a report that women’s participation in the Jordanian labor market is one of the lowest in the world, at 14 percent, compared with 66 percent commanded by men.اضافة اعلان

Head of the Amman-based Workers’ House Hamada Abu Nijmeh told Jordan News that “based on the data by the Department of Statistics, the average monthly wage of males in the private sector amount to JD642, compared with JD544 for females.”

“The wage gap in the private sector, according to gender, is considered high as it reaches JD98 in favor of males”, he added.

He said that the “gender wage gap is measured by calculating the difference between the average hourly wages of a female worker with the average hourly wage of a male worker.”

The most notable reason for the wage inequality “is the prevailing belief that the man is the breadwinner for the family, and that women tend to work in traditional professions only, such as education and health”, Abu Nijmeh said.

He said the continuation of the prevailing “unfair wages” represents an explicit defect in the rules of justice at the work level, “weakening the ability of women to face economic burdens and future challenges, in addition to weakening their economic independence”.

“It also points to the weak representation of women in senior positions in the public and private sectors,” he pointed out.

He said that “the participation of one woman in the Jordanian labor market means an annual addition of JD13,000 to the economy and an increase in the purchasing power of the whole family.”

“This contributes to reviving the markets and the national economy too,” he added.

Ahmad Awad, head of the Jordan Labor Watch, told Jordan News that “unfair wages are not limited to gender only, but also to nationality.”

“We should notice unfair wages among Jordanian and foreign workers, this harms the economy and reinforces the wage gap,” he said. “This is one of the forms of human rights violations and abuse of basic principles of workers’ rights.”

Awad stressed that “this poses a threat to the economy, since women’s economic participation decreases, especially in the private sector.”

He said that the Jordanian economy “is weak for many reasons, most notably for the weak participation of women in the labor market”.

Economic analysts Jawad Al-Anani told Jordan News “I am skeptical about figures that show the percentage of women’s participation in the labor market. Some women work as freelancers, for instance, and they are not included in the statistics.”

He said that “women who work in freelancing business have no rights.”

“If there were studies on productivity, we would have found out that women are more productive than men and that inequality creates a feeling of dissatisfaction and reduces the incentive for development,” he noted.

Head of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions Mazen Al-Maaytah told Jordan News that the “imbalance in wages among workers, according to their gender and nationality, is considered an infringement on social justice, and this in turn affects the national economy.”

He explained that “justice motivates the worker to produce and contributes to the flow of money to the state, as well as enhances its exports, thus attracts foreign currency.”

He stressed that the “role of women is important in society since they have the ability to do a lot of work.”

He said that “the idea that the man is the only breadwinner for the family prevailed in previous decades, but today women are the ones who support the family, or play a crucial role in it.”

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