A young woman entering the job market today can expect to work for the equivalent of an average of four years more than her male peers over her lifetime, says international anti-poverty organisation ActionAid.
The extra four years accounts for women balancing both paid and unpaid care work, and amounts to the equivalent of an extra month’s work for every woman, every year of her life.
ActionAid’s report, titled Not Ready, Still Waiting, found there is a need for major changes in developing nations and richer countries as well as in global institutions.
The report has been released one year after world leaders pledged to tackle inequality in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“Countries aren’t prepared. They don’t have the adequate policies in place to ensure that they will meet the goals, particularly around gender equality,” Holly Miller, a spokeswoman for ActionAid Australia, told The World Today.
The report looked at 10 developing countries and found they did not have the policies in place to help reduce inequality.
It also found that developed countries were not doing enough to support these nations to reach the goals.
“Three of ten developing countries we looked at are making satisfactory progress on less than half of the policy indicators,” ActionAid International’s chief executive Adriano Campolina said in a statement.
Only Brazil, South Africa and Ghana had more than 65 per cent of key inequality-reducing policies in place.
The report said gender inequality in work cost women in poor countries $US9 trillion each year.
Australian women not paid for work
The report also points out that even in a developed nation like Australia, inequalities such as the gender pay gap persist.
It said the gender pay gap in Australia had increased since 2004, with women being paid 17.3 per cent less than men.