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Feminist News


July-30-09

UK Wage Gap Persists

The Women and Work Commission published a report yesterday citing an increase in the wage gap in the UK. The commission found an increase in the wage gap from 21.9 to 22.6 percent since 2007. Although the gap has decreased overall in the last ten years, the gender disparity is even larger when accounting for part-time wages; the gap in those cases nears 40 percent.

The report suggests that the wage gap costs the economy 23 billion British pounds in productivity. The Minister for Women and Equality, Harriet Harman, told the BBC that the government would work to stop the gender gap first by banning "secrecy clauses in employment contracts so that women can challenge unfair pay" and then using stronger tactics if necessary. The report provides 43 additional recommendations for closing the gap such as non-traditional job placement, challenging school gender stereotyping, and professionalizing childcare.

Baroness Margaret Prosser, chair of the commission, wrote in the report that more action needs to be taken to prevent the reversal of "the positive progress that has been made, reports Reuters.

Media Resources: Reuters 7/29/09, BBC 7/29/09