With the explosion of part-time, contract, two-tier and other precarious types of employment, we often find two people working side by side earning different rates of pay. The positive movement in the second half of the last century and the beginning of the current century is the recognition of the need for equal pay for work of equal value, confirmed in ILO Convention 100.
This international accord begins from the premise that women and men do different work because of gender segregation in the workforce, and that the "market value" of traditional women's work needs to be boosted, especially if we want to continue to have childcare workers, nurses and other healthcare workers, and administrative workers.
I think we need them—so we should make sure they get paid appropriately. Their undervalued skills and responsibilities need to be made visible. Pay equity NOW!
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©OECD Observer No 302, April 2015