Contention can many a times turn out to be a favourable phenomenon in a social setup in the sense that the flaring up of contentions is indicative of a vibrant and evolving society. Despite the existence of biases and prejudices that have their moorings in the archaic cultural and social contexts, European Union (EU) is no doubt an alive and thriving society that is committed to the ethics of equality and justice…
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Despite the best efforts of the recidivist vested interests in the private and public sector, there is no denying the fact that there exists ample statistical and documentary evidence to prove that unequal pay is a painful reality of the contemporary Western business world that aught to be dealt with on a priority basis. Studies have shown that women in the UK earn a mere 82 percent of the male earnings in the full time jobs (Jowell. 1994). A similar trend is evident in Scotland where a full time female worker manages to earn just 80 percent of the average male earnings (Nicol. 2003). As per a recent government report published in Ireland, almost 40 percent of the women in the Irish workforce earn less then pounds 100 per week as compared to fewer then 20 percent of men (Minihan. 2001). Infact, unequal pay is a trans-national phenomenon whose impact is worsened when seen in the light of the race motivated implications. The June 2003 Income Survey conducted in New Zealand revealed that the average earnings of women were merely 87.1 percent of their male counterparts. In a congressional testimony Jocelyn Samuels Vice President, Education and Employment, National Women's Law Centre Committee on Senate Health, Education, Labour and Pensions disclosed that in the US, the average annual earnings of the women were just 77 percent of those of the male workers.
REASONS FOR UNEQUAL PAY
Various research scholars have attributed the gender biased inequities in pay structures to cognizable factors like child rearing, disparities in academic qualification, dearth of experience and gender biased occupational segregation (Dixon. 2000). However, this wage gap between the men and the women cannot be explained in totality by the domestic and career choices made by the women. These factors only contribute to the tip of the iceberg and many hidden biases and prejudices do augment the phenomenon of unequal pay.
It has been a long time since the member states in the EU and the major Western democracies have recognized the injustice perpetrated by the pay disparities between men and women. Ample statutory and institutional instruments have been introduced to ameliorate this disparity.
Dixon, S 2000, 'Pay inequality between men and women in New Zealand', Occasional Paper 35(2), Labour Market Policy Group, Department of Labour, Wellington
Ingeborg, H 1999, 'Supranational action against sex discrimination: Equal pay and equal treatment in the European Union', International Labour Review, viewed 6 August 2008,
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