The numbers are dismal for women around the globe — despite being a nearly equal part of the workforce, they still hold only one percent of the world’s wealth. It isn’t so much a matter of lack of education. After all, women account for half of the world’s university students and are the majority of students in many countries’ colleges and secondary schools.
But the pay gap that we see in America is even more extreme around the world, especially as you look into less developed countries. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Salaried women workers earn 62 cents for every $1 that men earn in Germany, 64 cents in India and about 80 cents in Mexico and Egypt. Women entrepreneurs fare far worse, earning 34 cents for every $1 men earn in Ethiopia and just 12 cents in Bangladesh relative to every $1 for men.”
One reason for the disparity is likely the number of women who hold menial or domestic jobs versus the number of men who hold the same, as well as the dismal entrepreneurial numbers mentioned above. Men hire men, and in order to get more women into higher level and higher paying jobs, it requires more women in positions to make those employee decisions.
But the most dire part of women holding so little of the world’s wealth is that women will be far more likely to be raising families alone then their male counterparts, leaving more and more of the world’s children in poverty. As Ms. Magazine writes, even in the United States, “[T]he poverty rate for women grew from 13.9 percent in 2009 to 14.5 percent in 2010 . It’s even higher for women of color: One in 4 black and Latina women lived in poverty in 2010.” According to the data in their infographic, more than half of the U.S.’s poor children live in families headed by women.
Helping women achieve more and earn more isn’t just the fair thing to do, it’s actually a global crisis to do otherwise.
Photo credit: Flinga, on wikimedia commons