Reducing gender wage gaps – yes, precisely now!

Reducing gender wage gaps – yes, precisely now!

Right before the next lockdown, it is a good time to think more broadly about the economic damage we are all experiencing, especially women.

So we asked Hadas Zazon Deutsch, a graduate of VLJI’s Intellectual Journeys program, to tell us about the opinion piece she published in Globes on August 15, 2020.

Hadas wrote back to us:

“The spread of the coronavirus caused a severe economic crisis, harming product, employers, employees, and especially women employees. Most of those put on unpaid leave are women. Meanwhile, a warning was issued by the World Economic Forum about a widening of the gender wage gaps in the shadow of the COVID-19 crisis, as a result of cutting down on low-paid part-time workers – jobs that are typically held by women. Without adequate treatment of this problem, the wage gaps between men and women are expected to widen in the near future, which will harm both working women and the national product that is negatively impacted by gender wage gaps.

I think it would take less effort to keep women in the workforce now than will be needed in a few years to bring them back to the workforce. Therefore, promoting legislation to narrow gender wage gaps, such as proposed by the draft law by MK Atiyyah to require employers to publish their wage gaps, is important precisely now, when the economic feasibility of going to work is doubtful for many women employees. I think avoiding the discussion of these gaps will only make the situation worse and lead to a serious setback. Therefore this is precisely the best time to promote MK Atiyyah’s law to require employers to publish data about gender wage gaps as a tool of “mass supervision" to promote more egalitarian pay. The elected officials should promote such initiatives precisely now and work together to reduce the gender wage gaps, a step that would be beneficial both on the moral and the economic levels.”

Therefore, if you ask “right now, when we are on the brink of another lockdown, is this the time to deal with reducing gender wage gaps?” We answer: yes, this is precisely the time!

The VLJI website Yoda'at (She Knows) – Israel Knowledge Center on Women and Gender has a wealth of data, research and articles about gender wage gaps in israel.

Published: September 13, 2020
Written by: Hadas Zazon Deutsch
Photo: Phillip Jackson

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