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Looking for Parity in the Gender Pay Gap - Essay Example

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Researchers have reported that much of the basis of the gender pay gap depends on the pervasiveness of gender segregation. The gender pay gap is essential for it remains an integral contributor to gender inequality. …
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Looking for Parity in the Gender Pay Gap
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"Looking for Parity in the Gender Pay Gap"

Download file to see previous pages The gender pay gap remains a major hindrance to gender equality. There are a number of theoretical explanations of this phenomenon that help identify the various forces contributing to the gender segregation process. These theories can be classified into three: institutional, structural, and individual. This essay discusses these three theories, but it is the contention of the author that no particular explanation is adequate to completely give explanation for the presence of gender segregation. Every theory provides a distinctive explanation of how gender segregation works. The first section briefly discusses the historical roots of gender pay gap, particularly in the UK. The discussion then focuses on the theories, the supply- and demand-side. Basically, this essay critically assesses the argument that gender pay gap is fair in that it reflects the differing work and care priorities of men and women. Historical Roots of Gender Pay Gap In the 1940s, the post-war welfare state in the UK was rooted in the idea that men are the breadwinner while women are the housekeepers. Both the occupational system and the benefit system relied on this idea of a male breadwinner. Nevertheless, the idea was subjected to heavy scrutiny in the 1960s and 1970s, driven by the evolving labour market conditions and by the demands of the Women’s Movement (Bagilhole, 2009, p. 11)....
The differences between the occupational profile of men and women, the comparative gap between full-time and part-time employment, and the level of participation of women in the labour market are commonly emphasised as having a considerable effect on the GPG (Grimshaw & Rubery, 2007; Blau & Kahn, 2001). The discourse on the importance of individual objectives against structural limitations has an extensive history in the social sciences. This section discusses two theories of gender wage inequality: Hakim’s Preference theory/Rational Choice and the Human Capital theory. Hakim disputes what she believes is the prevailing feminist perspective on the patterns of female employment. She believes that part-time employment or career breaks are decisions made by women willingly because of their obligations at home and the inadequate availability of childcare services (Davis, Evans, & Lorber, 2006). Instead, the underprivileged position of women in the labour market manifests the consequences of their changing work preferences. Hakim explains that both men and women are the driving forces in their own lives, hence “self-classification as a primary earner or secondary earner is determined by chosen identities, rather than imposed by external circumstance or particular jobs” (Davis et al., 2006, p. 255). Basically, the core assumption of Hakim is that the employment experiences of women are mostly the outcome of these women’s decisions. Hakim illustrates, more accurately, that part-time employment is preferred by women, referred to as ‘grateful slaves’, mostly committed to their domestic obligations. On the contrary, ‘self-made women’, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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