Are you as successful as your husband in earning money?
The majority of women are not affected by the differences in income between partners, according to a global study.
For the first time, there was a global study of gender inequalities within households. The data were collected from 45 countries during a span of four decades (from 1973 to 2016).
Professor Hema Swaminathan, and Professor Deepak Maghan of the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore used data from 2.85million heterosexual couples aged 18-65 years. This data was compiled by the Luxembourg Income Survey (LIS), a non-profit.
Professor Swaminathan states that conventional poverty estimations consider the entire household to be one unit.
The assumption that incomes within a household are equal and pooled is the general one. The household can often be a source of extreme inequality. We want to find out how we can fix that.”
Professor Swaminathan said that the report describes the household’s “black box” as it is not looking into its interior. How would that change the picture if you looked in?
India has a gender gap in its labour force. There are fewer women working in India, and they are more likely to have full-time jobs.
Professor Swaminathan said Malghan and Malghan were trying to analyze the overall picture. The Nordic countries, for example, are seen as beacons of hope in gender equality. But what’s the reality? Are the wealth and work distributions in homes equal? Prof Swaminathan.
They ranked each country based on both overall inequality and within-household inequality. Their results show that gender inequalities persist across all countries and between rich and poor households.
Professor Malghan says that the most recent data shows that wives make as much in the workplace as their husbands when they are both employed.
“Even in Nordic countries with the lowest gender inequality, we discovered that women have less than half of the total world’s population.”
There are many reasons why women make less money than men. Culturally, men are seen as the breadwinners while women are homemakers. After childbirth, many women stop working or take time off. Many parts of the world still have a gender pay gap or unequal pay, which means that women are paid less for similar work than their male counterparts. Unpaid caregiving and housework are still largely the responsibility of women.
An International Labour Organisation 2018 report shows that globally women are responsible for 76.2% unpaid care work. This is more than three-times the amount of men. It rises up to 80% in Asia and Pacific.
According to the report, unpaid care work is “the biggest barrier that prevents women from entering, staying and progressing in their labour force.”
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Research shows that a lower income for women can lead to other consequences, such as affecting the gender dynamics of the home and placing women in disadvantage.
While cash can be seen, the contribution made by the wife to her household is intangible. A wife who earns a salary and brings in money for the household cat enjoys an elevated status. Professor Swaminathan says that it enhances her agency, and gives her voice in the household.”
An increase in her earnings will improve her negotiation skills, make it easier for her to negotiate, and give her the ability to bargain. It can also help her get out of an abusive relationship by offering her a second option.
Professor Malghan explained that the discrepancy could also affect long-term financial stability as women tend to have less savings, wealth accumulation, and are more likely to receive lower incomes when they get older, since their pension policies depend on earnings.
However, there is a silver lining to the report. The researchers found that intra-household inequality declined by 20% in each of the four decades they studied.
Professor Swaminathan says that economic growth and economic development have occurred in most regions of the globe and that women are more involved in the labour market. In many countries, there are more policies that support women. Equal pay for equal labor has seen movement. This has resulted in a narrowing of the disparity.
However, despite this decline, the current levels remain significant, and she believes the gap must be close further.
“The government is not living up to its promises. Employers aren’t allowing enough women to work in care and domestic tasks, so they are penalizing them. We need to question if women are being recognized for their work. Is there a family-friendly policy? It is also important to have better-educated men who are willing to share the responsibility for the chores that remain unpaid.
Governments and societies have a lot of power. This doesn’t need to be the case.
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