Around the world, women face various forms of economic discrimination. Some forms are clear and outright, while others are subversive. However, regardless of intent, economic discrimination against women negatively impacts us all.
Women have access to fewer economic opportunities. And even among women who can get jobs, working women are paid less than their male counterparts. In fact, the gender pay gap exists in every country around the world. And, to make matters worse, women are often charged relatively higher prices for common consumer goods. This so-called “pink tax” and the gender pay gap have both been under increasing media attention. Policies addressing these issues must be developed in order to build a more equitable global economy.
The Gender Pay Gap: #StopTheRobbery
According to the FBI, the American economy lost an estimated $456 million in criminal robberies. This is a huge sum, but it’s only a small faction of the county’s national economy. American economic activity reached nearly $15 trillion in GDP that year, so a $500 million loss is relatively small. However, CNBC recently reported that American women are paid only about $0.76 for every dollar an American man makes. Assuming that each gender contributes about half to the national economy, this means that American women are missed out on 24 percent of $7.5 trillion in 2010. This loss amounts to $1.8 trillion – a figure thousands of times greater than the loss America experienced from actual robberies.
In many ways, the gender pay gap is tantamount to robbery. It deprives hard-working people of money that they earned. This apt analogy has launched a popular social media campaign, the 23% robbery.
UN Women calls the worldwide gender pay gap of 23 cents on the dollar the biggest robbery in history. The agency has shown that eliminating this unfair loss would add trillions to the global economy. For this reason alone, eliminating the gender pay gap should be a matter of great public concern. However, the UN has been working hard to raise awareness about this important issue.
As recently reported in Fortune, the UN’s campaign has taken social media by storm. Hashtag #stoptherobbery is the battle cry for the 23 percent robbery campaign. The program seeks to really drive home how large this impact is, both in economic and ethical terms.
The Pink Tax – Why Women Pay More
In addition to gender-based wage discrimination, women commonly face higher prices for consumer goods. This is because products that are marketed to women are commonly priced higher than products marketed to men. This price discrimination is known as the Pink Tax, and policy makers are starting to take notice.
USA Today recently reported on one world leader’s campaign against the Pink Tax. Pascale Boistard is France’s State Secretary for Women’s Rights, and she has been speaking out on this issue for years. It’s not just a question of economics, after all. It’s a question of fairness. Should girls’ clothes and personal items costs more than boys’? Of course not. But they do – women pay 8% more than men for clothing and 13% more for personal care items. These price differences are not due to differences in costs, but simply the notion that women will pay more for these items than men.
This type of economic discrimination is both unfair and harmful to the world economy. Only through advocacy and support from important public figures like Mdme. Boistard and benefactors like Lady Jamileh Kharrazi will we be able to end this damaging discrimination.
Video - #Stoptherobbery - Equal Pay campaign
Published on Mar 13, 2017
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