Equal Pay for Equal Work: The Big Gaps In India

Malvika Shah
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Gender Equality in choice of clothes

It is one of the harsh realities that even in 21st century we still have to fight gender-based discrimination. Even the developed nations are still struggling with it. Especially in the developing nation like ours, disparities on the basis of gender are far more apparent.


Gender-based discrimination comes in all forms, be it social inequalities, getting equal opportunities, health facilities, or the gender pay gap. The progress made in the direction of achieving parity is very slow. Gender pay gap is a real issue. Just because few women in the urban set up have been able to break the glass ceiling, people often use them as a token and dismiss the issue.

The Global Gender Gap Report of 2010 highlights some stark facts.

1. The study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked India among the bottom 10 countries in the world in terms of women’s participation in the economy

2. The WEF report stated that the average annual income of a woman engaged in the co-operating sector in India is US$ 1,185, whereas that of the male is US$ 3,698.

3. The WEF report further mentions that the “economic participation and opportunity” for women, in India has worsened.

The Annual Survey of Industries for the year 2004-05, hinted that the gender wage gap for regular workers in the formal sector was 57%, and for casual workers in the formal sector was 35-37%. In the agriculture sector, the report states that the disparity is between 60%.


The formation of equal remuneration act which guarantees equal pay for equal work hasn’t been able to close the gender gap significantly.


A study by has some interesting observation. The analysis of gender pay gap in this report is based on a voluntary online Salary Survey conducted by Paycheck India. Analysis. These are:


Gender A Day Without Woman -Shethepeople.Tv

1) The gender pay gap in India for the year 2011 is 28.13%. The gender pay gap in India has been declining over the years. Women earned 41.94% less than men before 2007.

2) The gender pay gap varies across Indian states. Women in Delhi earned 20% less than men, whereas women in Assam earned 64% less than men.


3) The gender pay gap increases with age.

4) The gender pay gap increases with higher educational qualifications.

6) The extent of pay gap also depends on the occupation. With the pay gap being highest for health professionals.

5) Marital status is also one of the factors for gender pay gap.

The reasons given/ assumed behind this disparity are numerous. In the past major reason behind the gender pay gap was due to factors such as differences in education level, the difference in industry and career choices. But with changing times these factors only explain part of the reason behind the current gender pay gap.

The majority of the gender pay gap is now driven by what the studies show the “unexplained” factors.

They are majority related to the biases the employer has set in his/her mind.The range of causes fixing the gender gap is a complex process because the psychological factors that lead to it can be fixed with sustained actions over a long period of time.

Also Read: The gender pay gap in Bollywood is huge: Says Vidya Balan

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