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G20 urged to push equal pay agenda

Women won't be paid as much as men for another 75 years according to a report released by Oxfam International, which urges G20 leaders to tackle gender inequality when they meet in Australia later this year.

The G20 and gender equality – How the G20 can advance women's rights in employment, social protection and fiscal policies report shows how the G20's growth ambitions cannot be realised without policies addressing systemic discrimination and economic exclusion of women across G20 countries.

The report, co-published with the Heinrich Boll Foundation, is being released as the Business 20 (B20) – one of the satellite conferences in the lead-up to the G20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane in November - meets in Sydney this week.

Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima said that across G20 countries and beyond, women were paid less than men, did most of the unpaid labour, were over-represented in part-time work and were discriminated against in the household, markets and institutions.

“This gap between women and men reflects a fundamental and entrenched form of inequality afflicting G20 countries, despite the gains that have undoubtedly been made in some areas,” Byanyima said.

Depending on the country context, an extra 20%-60% would be added to the GDP of individual G20 countries if the hidden contribution of unpaid work – such as caring for children or carrying out housework – was recognised and valued.

Byanyima commented: “Meanwhile, if women's paid employment rates were the same as men's, the USA's GDP would increase by 9%, the Eurozone's by 13% and Japan's by 16%.”

Oxfam International | Global | Equality


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