Hoan works at the Tinh Loi Garment Factory, in North Vietnam, where she works on average 62 hours each week, earning around $1 an hour, packaging t-shirts and shirts for global export.
Gender inequality is one of the oldest and most pervasive forms of inequality in the world. It denies women their voices, devalues their work and make women’s position unequal to men’s, from the household to the national and global levels.
Despite some important progress to change this in recent years, in no country have women achieved economic equality with men, and women are still more likely than men to live in poverty.
Lower-paid, unpaid, undervalued: gender inequality in work
• Low wages. Across the world, women are in the lowest-paid work. Globally, they earn 23 percent less than men and at the current rate of progress, it will take 170 years to close the gap. 700 million fewer women than men are in paid work.
• Lack of decent work. 75 percent of women in developing regions are in the informal economy - where they are less likely to have employment contracts, legal rights or social protection, and are often not paid enough to escape poverty. 600 million are in the most insecure and precarious forms of work.
• Unpaid care work. Women do at least twice as much unpaid care work, such as childcare and housework, as men – sometimes 10 times as much, often on top of their paid work. The global value of this work each year is estimated at $10 trillion – which is equivalent to one-eighth of the world’s entire GDP.
• Longer work days. Women work longer days than men when paid and unpaid work is counted together. That means globally, a young woman today will work on average the equivalent of four years more than a man over her lifetime.
Tabitha Mwikali, 36, is a domestic worker. She lives in Mukuru, one of Nairobi’s biggest informal settlements. She is from Matuu in south eastern Kenya, where she has sent her children to live as she can’t afford to feed them or send them to school on her weekly wage of 200 - 250 shillings (approx. $2.50).