Women In Health Sector Earn 24 Percent Less Than Men: Report

Women account for 67 percent of the health and care workers worldwide and yet they earn an average of 24 percent less than men.

Ritika Joshi
Jul 13, 2022 05:41 IST
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Women in health sectors earn an average of 24 percent less than men according to a joint report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), which was unveiled recently.

The joint report is a global analysis of gender pay inequalities in the healthcare sector. It revealed that this gaping disparity in pay exists despite the fact that women account for 67 percent of the health and care workers worldwide.

The report by WHO and ILO found that the women in health sectors face a larger gender wage gap than in other economic sectors. The gender wage gap of approximately 20 percent can go up to 24 percent when accounting for factors such as working time, age, and education.

During a woman’s reproductive years, the gender wage gap increases and the gap persists throughout the rest of her working life.


Gender Wage Gap: Women In Health Sectors

Another joint report by WHO and Women in Global Health confirmed that women in health sectors had lower wages, were paid less often, had unpaid roles, were concentrated into a lower status and faced gender bias and harassment. Due to the occupational segregation by gender in the health and care sector, men are more likely to be physicians and specialists than women while 24 million out of 28.5 million nurses and midwives are women.

While women in health sectors are the driving force behind care by the patients' side, men in the same sectors are appointed as leaders. The occupational sector not only restricts the role of women in healthcare but also drives the gender wage gap.


It is estimated that women in health sectors contribute five percent to global gross domestic product (GDP), out of which almost 50 percent of the contribution is unpaid and unrecognised.

The wages in the health and care sector, overall, are also lower than the wages compared in other economic sectors. This finding is consistent with the report that wages are often lower in female-dominated economic sectors. A report on the 1950 to 2000 Census data from the United States found that the average wage for a job decreased when women entered the field in large numbers.

Suggested Reading: Why The Lower Employment Rate of Urban Indian Women Should Worry Us

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