Women still less likely to be active in labor market than men: ILO

Updated 2018-03-08 17:14:01 Xinhua

Women are less likely to participate in the labour market than men and are more likely to be unemployed in most parts of the world, a new study by the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Wednesday.

The World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends for Women 2018 - Global snapshot was released on the eve of International Women's Day, marked on March 8.

Despite notable progress over the past 20 years the report found that the global women's labor force participation rate - at 48.5 percent in 2018 -- is still 26.5 percentage points below the rate of their male counterparts.

In addition, the global unemployment rate of women for 2018 - at 6 percent - is approximately 0.8 percentage point higher than the rate for men.

Altogether, this means that for every 10 men in a job, only 6 women are in employment said the ILO.

"Despite the progress achieved and the commitments made to further improvement, women's prospects in the world of work are still a long way from being equal to men's," said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policies.

She also said that despite the progress achieved and the commitments made to further improvement, women's prospects in the world of work "are still a long way from being equal to men's."

Greenfield said that more need to be done to reverse this "persistent, unacceptable trend" by implementing policies tailored to women, while considering the unequal demands that they face in household and care responsibilities.

The ILO snapshot signals significant disparities, depending on the wealth of countries.

For instance, differences in unemployment rates between women and men in developed countries are relatively small.

Women even register lower unemployment rates than men in Eastern Europe and North America.

Conversely, in regions such as the Arab States and Northern Africa, female unemployment rates are still twice as large as men's, with prevailing social norms continuing to obstruct women's participation in paid employment.

Another example of these differences is that the gap in employment participation rates between men and women is narrowing in developing and developed countries while it continues to widen in emerging countries.

However, the ILO said this may reflect a growing number of young women in these countries have joined formal education, which delays their entry to the labour market.

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