Finance – Unequal Pay
Finance – Unequal Pay between Men and Women, Implications and
Discuss the long-term financial implications of unequal division in paid and unpaid work between men and
women (within and between households) and the extent to which individuals and governments can act to
mitigate the implications of these differences in the future.
The gender pay gap has always being a controversial subject. The inequality between the pay
structures between men and women have been traditionally been linked to the historical roles of
childbearing and rearing that women have to undertake besides the regular jobs for normal
maintenance. The traditional roles women perform both domestically in some places of work are
unpaid. These roles have not been quantified in terms of their financial capabilities but their
implications have far greater consequences than the male dominated jobs. The responsibilities
Finance – Unequal Pay
that women bear are enormous and greatly weigh them down especially in their pursuit of quality
education and well paying jobs that are more demanding.
The consequences and implications of the employment and pay imbalance between men and
women are catastrophic. The women population will continue to dwindle as majority will sink to
poverty as a result of the greater responsibilities of bringing up children while the lowly paid
jobs have to be alternated with long periods of absenteeism as a result of pregnancies and
childbearing complications. Reduced populations will affect the labor market as scarcity leads to
more demand which results in increased costs of acquiring labor services. These will eventually
lead to a spiral type of inflation.
Lack of adequate income will also result in ill health, more infant mortality rates and also will
largely contribute to women powerlessness. It’s obvious that the inequality in wage
compensation affects more women than men and as a result more women are shunning or
postponing the extra responsibilities associated with childbirth and marriage. These difficulties
have now become a factor in future population growths with countries like Japan and
Switzerland experiencing low births that are not consistent with population imbalance. The
numbers of old people are growing much faster than they are being replaced by the younger
population. (EC, 2009b) Reduced population growths will finally lead to reduced labor force.
Labor is a factor of production and its scarcity leads to more expenses for its acquisition. (Millar
and Gardiner, 2004)
Inequality in income distribution between paid and unpaid work will lead majority of the
workers to shun the unpaid work whether it’s dominated by men or women. All types of jobs
Finance – Unequal Pay
have their contribution in the economy. The sudden withdrawal of one sector in the economy
will affect the functions of the other sectors as well. (Goode, Callender and Lister, 1998)
The governments can enact legislation that protect women’s right in parental responsibilities and
also enforce their rights in gender equality in places of work and compensation structures. The
economic empowerment of women and the equality in payment compensation will ultimately
lead to more productive society.
The provision of basic services and access to financial assistance in terms of welfare and job
creation for women should be a priority for the government. The paid maternity allowance
should be also encouraged by allowing companies that have more female employees tax
incentives to encourage the employment of more women. The role of women in many
households should also be factored during divorce proceedings and the wealth acquired by both
parties should also be naturally split as such roles are necessities in life.
Individual men can also participate positively in creating a fair and free society where all people
are equal despite of gender or pay differences. Individuals can assist the government in
implementing the financial and social changes that may be required to balance between the
compensation structures between men and women.
Goode, J., Callender, C. and Lister, R. (1998) Purse or Wallet? Gender Inequalities and Income
Distribution within Families on Benefits. London: Policy Studies Institute cited in
Millar, J. and Gardiner, K. (2004) Low pay, household resources and poverty. Joseph Rowntree