UK takes lead in ‘Closing the gender gap’
By Poorvi Gupta
In what’s a bold move by the British government, all major companies have been asked to disclose information on the wage gap between male and female workers. This will enable the government to first, understand the disparity in wage, and then, amend it to minimize the gender divide. The discussion about equal wages for men and women has been going on all over the world since ages. However, nothing substantial was done regarding this matter of contention up until the UK government took a foot forward.
“Today I’m announcing a really big move: we will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. That will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up,” said the British Prime Minister David Cameron in an article in ‘The Times’. He wants to drive up women’s wages in the market which is no less than any man’s in the UK.
“Our aim is to fundamentally rebalance our economy – to transform Britain from a high-welfare, high-tax, low-pay economy into a lower-welfare, lower-tax, higher-pay society,” he further emphasized.
This declaration from Cameron came in the light of an official consultation called “Closing the Gender Gap” which is launched by the UK government.
Another argument came from the Director-General of The Confederation of British Industry, Katja Hall, who believes that publishing the pay gap data may be deceiving but he assured that they will work hand in hand with the government to make sure that the rules on the published data are flexible for all the companies to be relevant.
While this development in the UK comes as a breath of fresh air, improvement has been really slow in our own country. The Indian government has yet to take any significant step to curb this malice of inequality in wage amongst genders. Though there is a law which bar discrimination on the basis of gender in the Indian constitution, this issue goes highly ignored by one and all. Also, the ministers at the higher level stay silent on the issue. Hopefully, this decision by the UK government will trigger the discussion in other parts of the world as well and we will witness more instances of equal pay for men and women in many more countries. Kudos to the UK government!