Gender Income and Wealth Inequality in Developed and Developing Countries: Consequences and Policy Implications

Gender Income and Wealth Inequality in Developed and Developing Countries: Consequences and Policy Implications

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0969-2.ch008
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Abstract

The chapter examines gender income and wealth inequality in developed and developing countries and its consequences and implications to social policy. The chapter argues that many government and non-governmental efforts to reduce inequality globally have failed because income and wealth inequality have been found to be concentrated at 1% of the population, while 99% of the population still concentrate at the bottom of the income household distribution. This chapter, therefore, examines regional gender inequality index and rankings, gender inequality in developed countries with case study of seven selected Sub-Saharan African countries, and the gender wage inequality in developed countries. Further, it explores the trends of income inequality in developed countries, using Gini-coefficient metrics between 2007 and 2016, the trends of share of income in total income distribution in 2014 (using 10 selected OECD countries), the income and wealth inequalities nexus, and the implications for social policy reforms.
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Introduction

For decades, differences in earnings between men’s and women’s incomes across the world have barely changed at workplace. According to INPR (2015), wage gap will not close until 2058, which is another generation away for women of today. The UN (2015) also reported that wage gap will take 70 years to close at the rate at which it is currently closing (Topping, 2015).

The gender pay inequality is the difference in pay between what men and women are paid. It refers to the median annual pay of all women who work full time and year- round, compared to the pay of a small cohort of men. It can also mean pay gap based on weekly or homily earnings or specific to a group of women.

Gender inequality remains a major banner to human development and affects governance at global, sub-national and local levels. Despite major strides made in socio- economic and political aspects overtime, girls and women have not gained gender equity in government decision- making, political representation, educational development and labor market. Gender inequality along with economic, social and political disparities are the result of the historical persistence of discriminatory structural factors and systems that restrains the majority from development agendas.

In a 2007 study, it was found that male employers are less likely to hire a woman who negotiates about salary as the men perceive these women as demanding. In USA, despite Equal Pay Act of 1963, women only made 59 cents on dollar. That figure rose to 77 cents by 2004 and increased by less than half a penny every year since (Washington post, 2007).

Generally, there are social, cultural and religious beliefs and practices which do not allow women to realize their full potentials. Gender pay inequality and empowerment continue to appear in global treaties, declarations, charters, right protocols, d legislations, democracy, governance and sustainable development goal, agenda as enshrined in SDG.5 to be pursued for post -2015 up to 2030.

Historically, most societies in the world is dominated by patriarchy in social relations, although, this depends from one society to another.

However, most modern public and private institutions in some countries are refused with this patriarchal discrimination, sexual exploitation and denials of life’s opportunities.

Moreover, gender gap in work participation has barely shifted in two decades. Since the Beijing Declaration on women’s rights was signed by 189 governments in 1995, the difference in men’s and women’s labor market participation rates have dropped by only 1%. Today, 50% of the world’s women work, compared with 77% men. In 1996, the figures were 52% % and 80% respectively (Topping, 2015). Despite marginal progress since Beijing declaration, there is a long way to go for women to enjoy the same rights and benefits as men at work.

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