A Pox on the Patriarchy
If you’re a woman, by the time you read this you’ll already have been working for free for a week. You won’t be paid again until January. That is the extent of the gender pay gap in the UK today.
And yes, paying women less than men for work of equal value is illegal – but that doesn’t stop it happening.
According to a survey by the Young Women’s Trust, more than one million young women in Britain say they have been paid less than male colleagues for equivalent work, and the evidence suggests that while the pay gap for women overall has got decimals of a percentage better in recent years (let’s hear it for .5%!), it has actually got worse for younger women.
For more than a decade, cleaners and care-workers (jobs that are overwhelmingly dominated by women) in Glasgow have been demanding equal pay from their council which has been paying them up to £3 an hour less than (overwhelmingly male) bin collectors and street-sweepers. There is simply no justification for this pay discrepancy: in a direct comparison between street-sweeping and care-giving, it is not street-sweeping that emerges as the most highly skilled, or indeed the most physically demanding. It also happens to be illegal under EU law.
Continue reading this article at The New European