Pay Equity: Reassessing gender pay gap, a comparative analysis of South Africa, India and Tanzania

Date: October 13, 2014
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Discrimination is defined as the practice of unfair treatment to one person or group of people less fairly or less favourably than others on the basis of prejudice. It is admitted and agreed that there are marked differences between men and women, discrimination has caused these differences to make women as being inferior and treated less fairly than men especially in the workplace. The paper will examine as to why women still remain substantially disadvantaged and discriminated in the workplace especially in the context of pay disparities between men and women and how to overcome and get rid of the existing discrimination by examining different jurisdictions. Pay equity struggles have been universal concern ever since both men and women entered the workforce. Women were subject to workplace discrimination which involves pay. Work which was performed by man was considered to be perfect and require more effort and skills than the one done by woman. Even if they could perform same or similar job, that of woman could be counted as not perfect and hence resulted for their remuneration to be different. In recent years the struggle for pay equity have been raised as more women have entered the workforce and start to demand equality in pay in employment. The question still remains as to why there should be gender difference in payment for same or similar work performed? The work might require same expertise, skill and experience but still discriminate women on the basis of pay. Women ’s participation in the labour force has increased, but at the same time their position has not improved in the labour market. In many parts of the world especially developing countries, women’s work is more invisible than in the developed countries simply because there is a large number of women working in informal sector, which is not protected by legislations of those countries. Although
equal pay and equal opportunity measures potentially increase women earnings and try to reduce occupational segregation but the problem is still there. Different international instruments and even domestic legislations have helped advocate and fight for gender pay inequalities, but so far the problem still persists. Despite ratifications and national equity and equal pay legislation, there still remains a gender-based wage gap. The paper will examine the position of United Kingdom on pay equity as it has been constantly applied in this country for over years through a variety of theories and instruments and has advanced in fighting for women ’s rights at international level and considered to be one of the pay equity laboratory since different legal approaches have been developed. Due to that analysis it will help suggest what measures should be taken by countries like South Africa and Tanzania which are still young in the fight for gender wage gap. Henceforth the development of more effective equity measures and policies should be advanced by comparative international research which is needed situating equity policy within a larger policy and institutional context.

Publisher: University of Cape Town
Year of Publication: 2013

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