Women and Wages: underpaid and undervauled

How inequality defines women's work in Asia

Factory workers step out of their shuttle bus as their shift ends. Hlaing Thar Yar Industrial Zone, Yangon, November 2015. Credit: Kaung Htet
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Paper publication date: 
Monday, June 6, 2016

Rising economic inequality across Asia is threatening poverty reduction and slowing down the fight against gender inequality. Although the region has experienced economic growth, the bottom 70 percent have seen their income share fall while the share for the top 10 percent has increased rapidly. Low wages and a lack of rights at work, particularly for women, are at the heart of this scandal. At the same time, women are subsidizing the economy with a disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work.

Achieving living wages and recognizing, redistributing and reducing unpaid care work could support both economic and gender equality in Asia and should be prioritized by both governments and businesses.