New York: More women than ever before are working, but a persistent gap in status, job security, wages and education between women and men is contributing to the “feminisation of working poverty”, the International Labour Office (ILO) says.
In a report issued to mark the International Women’s day, ILO said the number of women participating in labour markets either in work or looking actively for work is at its highest point. In 2006, the ILO estimated that 1.2 billion of the 2.9 billion workers in the world were women.
However, a large number of women are unemployed (81.8 million), stuck in low productivity jobs and services or receiving less money for doing the same jobs as men, it added.
The report said the share of working-age women who work or are seeking work had actually stopped growing or declined in some regions, partially due to more young women in education rather than work.
“Despite some progress, far too many women are still stuck in the lowest paying jobs, often in the informal economy with insufficient legal protection, little or no social protection, and a high degree of insecurity,” said Juan Somavia, ILO director general.
“Promoting decent work as a fundamental instrument in the global quest for gender equality will go a long way in raising incomes and opportunities for women and lifting families out of poverty,” he added.
At the UN headquarters, the Security Council stressed women’s role in preventing and resolving conflicts and in peace-building and called on member States and the secretary general to bolster effort to empower women and increase their representation in the decision making process.