Pay gap re­mains but Ja­maica rises in global rank­ings

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Steven Jack­son Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter steven.jack­son@glean­erjm.com

JA­MAICA IM­PROVED its pay eq­uity rank­ing by 25 spots to 42 glob­ally, based on re­duced dis­par­i­ties be­tween men and women in ed­u­ca­tion and pol­i­tics, de­spite a sus­tained in­come gap, ac­cord­ing to the Global Gen­der Gap Re­port 2016.

“Ja­maica con­tin­ues to im­prove on po­lit­i­cal em­pow­er­ment, with an in­creased share of women in par­lia­ment,” stated the re­port re­leased by the non­aligned think tank, World Eco­nomic Fo­rum.

The re­port lauded nine coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ba­hamas, Bar­ba­dos, Fin­land, France, Ja­maica, Latvia, Le­sotho, Nicaragua and the Philippines which have “fully closed the gap” on both the health and sur­vival and ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment subindexes. How­ever, no coun­try has yet closed ei­ther the eco­nomic par­tic­i­pa­tion and op­por­tu­nity or po­lit­i­cal em­pow­er­ment subindex gaps.

Through the gen­der pay gap re­port, the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum quan­ti­fies the mag­ni­tude of gen­der dis­par­i­ties and tracks their progress over time, with a spe­cific fo­cus on the rel­a­tive gaps be­tween women and men across four key ar­eas: health, ed­u­ca­tion, econ­omy and pol­i­tics. Ice­land led the list of 144 coun­tries an­a­lysed in the re­port with Ye­men rank­ing at the bot­tom of the list. This year Ja­maica’s over­all rank sits in the mid­dle of Latin Amer­ica and the Caribbean, which is led by Nicaragua at 10, Bo­livia at 23 and Cuba at 27. Women in Ja­maica earn about 61 per cent of their male coun­ter­parts’ pay. Specif­i­cally, the aver­age an­nual pay for women in Ja­maica to­talled US$6,720 com­pared to US$11,044 earned by men, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. His­tor­i­cally, the dis­par­ity equated to 60.5 per cent last year and 60.25 per cent in 2014. Glob­ally, only women in Luxembourg earn an es­ti­mated in­come of over ap­prox­i­mately US$75,000, a bench­mark for global pros­per­ity, while their male coun­ter­parts earn some US$121,900 an­nu­ally. The pay gap re­port, now in its 11th edi­tion, in­di­cated that Ja­maica’s peak rank­ing of 25 among 115 coun­tries oc­curred in 2006, then dipped to 52 in 2014 and slipped fur­ther to 67 last year, be­fore re­gain­ing ground in the cur­rent re­port at 42.

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