Jobs, better wages, less unpaid work key to making women's rights a reality: UN - TRFN
By Lisa Anderson
NEW YORK, April 27 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Creating more jobs for women, closing the gender pay gap and reducing the unpaid domestic work women undertake are vital to ensuring that improvements in their rights are more than just gains on paper, UN Women said in a report on Monday.
More girls are enrolling in schools and more women are working, getting elected and assuming leadership roles since the most progressive blueprint for advancing women's rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1995.
Yet women earn on average 24 percent less than men and only half of women of working age are in the global labour force, according to the U.N. body for gender equality.
"We need to address ... this complete disconnect between women's rights on paper ... and the actual outcomes on the ground. That's where I think, globally, we're falling very short," said Shahra Razavi, UN Women's data chief.
The report said introducing a minimum wage or providing social programmes, such as pensions, health benefits and childcare would make a huge difference to women.
"Many of these things are actually already happening in the real world," Razavi told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
One example, she said, is Brazil, which overhauled its faltering economy in the 1990s through economic and social reforms that doubled the minimum wage, simplified registration and taxes for small and medium-sized businesses, and promoted the growth of formal or salaried jobs.
As a result 17 million new jobs were created between 2001 and 2009, 10 million of which were salaried, and women's formal labour participation increased to 58 percent from 54 percent. Continuación...