(Oranjestad)—This week we celebrated International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to the achievements of women around the world in different aspects of life. Even though today’s world is much more forward-thinking and the gap between men and women is much smaller than it used to be, there are still significant differences and inequality that women still fight against, one example being in the labor sphere.
One of the inequalities between men and women that is still of social importance is the wage gap. According to UN Women, women are only paid 77 cents for every dollar a man makes on a global level and the gap is even bigger when it comes to working mothers. This is a fundamental cause when it comes to the wage gap between men and women.
Data shows that those of the world’s population who are of age to work and that form part of the active community, 49.6% of them are women, and 76.1% are men. Even though millions of women have been able to obtain jobs in the last few decades thanks to globalization, these figures show a massive gap which women rights organizations are currently still trying to close.
Women represent half of the world’s population, and should be able to have access to decent paying jobs. There should also be policies and regulations in place to help combat inequality between genders.
In terms of maternity or paternity leave around the world, only 63 countries comply with the norms established by The International Labor Organization (ILO), which have indicated that mothers should be able to enjoy at least 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Though different countries have adopted some forms of policies for this, barely 28% of the feminine labor force around the world is granted paid maternity leave.
The topic of unemployment is also a challenge. Globally, women are more likely to be unemployed compared to men. The figure for global unemployment is at 5.8%, of which 5.5% is men and 6.2% is women.
In connection with International Women’s Day, the minister of Labor, Energy and Intergrity, Mr. Glenbert Croes, published the most recent data by the Department of Labor and Investigation (DOA) on women in the labor market on Aruba on the Facebook page of the cabinet of Prime Minister Wever-Croes.
According to the data, the figure for unemployment amongst women has dropped to 6.6% in 2022, compared to the 9.7% registered back in 2021.
“Today, DAO wishes to give attention to the essential contribution by women to the economy of Aruba. As a country, we have a duty to take necessary actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), in which one goal calls for the equality for women,” the statement expressed.
SDG’s consist of 17 goals that aim to bring sustainable development in countries around the world. On International Women’s Day, DAO ratified the importance of SDG #5 (Gender Equality) and SDG #8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
The statement by Minister Glenbert Croes indicated that this year, the ILO and the UN have decided that the theme for this year’s celebration is “DigitALL”. This theme represents the importance of technology for the equality between genders.
“Innovation, technological changes and education in this new digital era is important and emphasis has been placed on women to participate more in STEM careers in order to also form part of careers concerning innovations,” he expressed.
He further explained that gender inequality is produced in different ways and in different scenarios. For women, besides having to work a full-time job, they are often times also the main caretakers at home. For women with full-time jobs, this phenomenon is referred to as a second shift, seeing as there is also work to be done when they get home.
He also added that for many decades, the social values and norms imposed on the genders have created an imbalance in the family dynamic, where women are investing more time in taking care of the family and home compared to men. According to data from the UN, women in developed countries are investing on average approximately 90 minutes more in every-day house work compared to men.
The data from the DAO indicates that the figure of unemployment for women have dropped from the 9.7% in 2021 to 6.6% in 2021; the working female population have seen a growth in 2022 compared to the previous year. Of all labor contracts for an indefinite amount of time, 53% of these represent women working 6 days a week. 1 in 3 women are employed in the hospitality and food sector, which is the largest employment sector on the island. The average salary for a working woman in the private sector is 3,257.77 Florins. The rate of participation from women has dropped from 57.9% in 2021 to 56.7% in 2022 compared to the rate of participation from men that was at 62.5% in 2022.