What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The Gender Pay Parity, also known as Gender Pay Gap or gender wage gap is the average difference between the remuneration for working men and working women. Research and studies show that women are paid less than men.

Aspirants would find this topic very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

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Gender Pay Gap – Overview

  1. As per the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Gender Gap report of 2018, India is ranked at 108th position out of 149 countries. Iceland topped the list for the 10th consecutive year. Global Gender Gap ranking is concluded taking into consideration many indicators.
  2. In the Wage Equality indicator, India is ranked at 72nd position. In the economic opportunities and participation index, India is ranked very low at 142nd position out of 149 countries. This resulted in the overall reduction of India’s rank at Global Gender Gap ranking.
  3. Women on an average are paid 34% less than similarly qualified male workers for performing the same tasks.
  4. Based on the National Sample Survey Office (2011-12) estimates, in nominal terms, women earning a regular salary were paid, on an average, INR 105 and INR 123 less than male workers daily in urban and rural settings, respectively; corresponding figures for casual workers were estimated at INR 72 and INR 47 for urban and rural workers. Read more on the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) on the article linked here.

Difference between Unequal Pay VS Gender Pay Gap

Unequal pay refers to situations where women are paid less than men for doing the same work. To counter this, equal pay is legally enforced in most organized sectors. On the other hand, The gender pay gap is a measure of the gap in the overall earnings of men and women.

Gender Pay Parity is calculated by considering several parameters applied to the total number of employed members of both genders. This means that it does not account for women who have voluntarily stayed out of the workforce or have taken a sabbatical.

Labour Sector in India Gender inequality in India Human Development Report
World Employment Social Outlook Bridging the gender gap – RSTV Unemployment In India

What are the Causes of Gender Pay Discrimination in India?

There are many reasons behind the gender wage gap or discrimination in India which are listed below.

  1. Economic inequalities – low participation rate in the labour force, gender pay gap, property rights. Although there are laws to protect women’s property rights it is weakly enforced.
  2. Occupational inequalities – very few businesses in India are owned by women. There are fewer females in the profession of teachers, scientists and military.
  3. Educational inequalities – There is a huge dropout of girls from school education and many of them don’t attain higher education.
  4. Health and Survival inequalities – Low birth sex ratio of girl child caused by selective abortion due to a preference for the boy child.

What is the Equal Remuneration Act 1976?

It is an Act passed in 1976 by the Government of India to bring in pay parity to men and women workers who are working on the same work or work of a similar nature. Under this law, no employer can discriminate against women in recruitment, training, transfer and promotions except in jobs where employment of women are restricted or prohibited as per law.

Why is there a Wage Gap in Sports?

The list of reasons which results in the wage gap of male and female sportspersons are given below.

  1. Endorsement deals
  2. Media coverage
  3. The difference in Economic returns of male and female sports.
  4. Biological difference

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2022.

FAQ about Gender Pay Parity


What is the gender pay gap 2020?

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 2020, women’s annual earnings were 82.3% of men’s, and the gap is even wider for many women of color. Though women only made 57 cents per dollar earned by men in 1973 when this Department of Labor PSA was made, progress has stalled and we’re still far from closing the pay gap.

Is pay parity legal?

Equal Remuneration Act 1976 provides for the payment of equal remuneration to men and women workers and for the prevention of discrimination, on the ground of sex, against women in the matter of employment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

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