GENDER EQUALITY IN TECH FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. By Bello Kafayat Sade
Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities.
Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men.
Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation.
Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
The word gender describes the socially-constructed roles and responsibilities that societies consider appropriate for men and women. (Source) Gender equality means that men and women have equal power and equal opportunities for financial independence, education, and personal development.(Source) Women’s empowerment is a critical aspect of achieving gender equality. It includes increasing a woman’s sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities and resources, her power The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average earnings of women and men in the workforce.
The gender pay gap is an internationally established measure of women’s position in the economy in comparison to men. The gender pay gap is the result of the social and economic factors that combine to reduce women’s earning capacity over their lifetime.
Closing the gender pay gap goes beyond just ensuring equal pay. It requires cultural change to remove the barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce.
What it is not:
It is not the difference between two people being paid differently for work of the same or comparable value, which is unlawful. This is called unequal pay. Equal Pay is when men and women receive equal
pay for work of equal or comparable value. In practical terms, this means that: men and women performing the same work are paid the same amount men and women performing different work of equal or comparable value are paid the same amount.
Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data both show a gender pay gap favouring full-time working men over full-time working women in Australia.
The gender pay gap often starts when women first enter the workforce. A combination of factors affect women’s lifetime economic security and makes it likely that over a lifetime women will earn less than men, be less likely to advance their careers as far as men, and accumulate less superannuation and savings than men, and will therefore be more likely to live in poverty in old age.
What drives the gender pay gap?
The gap between women’s and men’s earnings is a symptom of a broader cultural problem in workplaces. It reflects the historic and systemic undervaluing of women’s workplace contributions and the significant barriers that lead to the under-representation of women in senior executive and management roles.
The gender pay gap is influenced by a number of factors, including:
conscious and unconscious discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles high rates of part-time work for women women’s greater time out of the workforce for caring responsibilities impacting career progression and opportunities.
The benefits of gender equality Everyone benefits from gender equality.
Gender equality helps prevent violence against women and girls and makes our communities safer and healthier. It is a human right and it is good for the economy.
Gender equality prevents violence against women and girls Gender inequality is a root cause of violence against women. The four main drivers of violence against women are:
condoning violence against women men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence rigid gender roles and stereotypes male relationships that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women The best way to prevent violence against women is to promote gender equality.
Gender equality is good for the economy Every day that we fail to deliver gender equality, we pay the price.
GDP would increase by 11% if the gender employment gap was closed. The Australian economy would gain $8 billion if women transitioned from tertiary education into the workforce at the same rate as men. Businesses with at least 30% women in leadership positions are 15% more profitable. Family violence costs the Victorian economy more than $3.4 billion a year and takes up 40% of police work.
Consequently, it is asserted that gender equality is both a human rights issue and a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable development. It is also affirmed that gender disparity is prevalent across the cultures of the world and that without serious steps to tackle it, sustainable development cannot be achieved. Furthermore, UN Women rightly outlined that to create a just and sustainable world and to enhance women’s roles in sustaining their families and communities, achieving gender equality is paramount. On the other hand, if gender equality is not maintained, it will retard the country’s development. In line with this idea, Stevens (2010) interestingly underlines that “an increasing number of studies indicate that gender inequalities are extracting high economic costs and leading to social inequities and environmental degradation around the world.”
Therefore, one can understand from such explanations that without the equal inclusion of women in all areas of development initiatives, all the above-mentioned components of sustainable development cannot be achieved. However, gender inequalities across economic, social and environmental dimensions remain widespread and persistent Ethiopia’s case is also very much apparent. Being cognizant of the negative effects of the prevailing gender disparity, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development affirmed that “any development initiative has to engage and ensure that both men and women contribute and benefit equally from it.” The researcher, being firmly convinced by this assumption, further argues that women should be empowered and equally allowed to contribute to and benefit from all dimensions of development so as to bring about sustainability.