Increasing income gap between men and women

December 17, Geneva, Switzerland – the world economic forum released the global gender gap report 2020. According to the report, in 2019, the time required to completely eliminate the gender gap will be reduced to 99.5 years, a slight progress compared with 108 years in 2018, but it still reveals the following facts: in the fields of health, education, career and politics, it is difficult for men and women to achieve gender equality in their lifetime.
According to the report, much of this year’s progress is due to a significant increase in the number of women in politics. It will take 95 years to close the gender gap in politics, compared with 107 in the previous year. Worldwide, women occupy 25.2% of the lower house of parliament seats and 21.2% of ministerial government positions, compared with 24.1% and 19% in the previous year.
However, politics remains the slowest area to date. Men and women are close to achieving gender equality in the fields of education and health / survival, accounting for 96.1% and 95.7% respectively. In the field of economic participation, efforts to pursue gender equality are also facing great challenges: the gender ratio has retreated from 58.1% in 2018 to 57.8% in 2019. In 2006, the world economic forum began to assess the situation of gender gap for the first time. Judging from the progress made so far, it will take 257 years to eliminate the gender gap in the economic field, compared with 202 last year.
According to the report, there are many reasons for the gender gap in the economic field, including the low proportion of women in management or leadership positions, stagnant wages, low labor participation and income level. Women face three major disadvantages: first, the proportion of women is higher in the positions most vulnerable to automation, such as retail and white-collar clerks.
Second, in industries that are often dominated by technology, wages are rising the most, but there is a lack of female employees. As a result, women are usually in low – and middle-income jobs and wages have stagnated since the financial crisis a decade ago.
Thirdly, deep-rooted factors such as the lack of family care services and financing channels also limit women’s career opportunities to a large extent. In countries where data are available, women spend at least twice as much time caring for their families and volunteering services as men; a lack of access to finance inhibits women’s entrepreneurial enthusiasm, which is another important determinant of income.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the world economic forum, said: “supporting gender equality is essential to building a strong, cohesive and risk resilient society. For businesses, gender diversity is also essential to help them demonstrate the guiding principle of stakeholder philosophy. That’s why the world economic forum, together with political and business stakeholders, is speeding up its actions to constantly narrow the gender gap. “