UN Women wants gender wage equality in East and Southern Africa by 2030.
In its latest research, ‘Why Women receive Less?’, the body says women receive 81 cents for every $1 men make hourly in the workplace, a 19% pay discrepancy.
The paper attributes the gender gap to age, education, career, and job type.
UN Women Regional Policy Specialist Mehjabeen Alarakhia said college-educated women have a narrower gender wage gap than basic school graduates.
Although educated, women earn 18% less than males with college degrees.
“Women with college degrees earn 18% less than men with college degrees, and women with primary school education earn 31% less,” she said.
After marriage, women leave the workforce or work fewer hours, according to the survey.
Married women have a 23% lower employment rate than married men, whereas unmarried women have a 3% lower rate.”
Alarakhia said that women with superior skills and qualifications tend to maintain working after marriage, reducing the gender pay gap.
She said the region’s women’s labor force participation rate was 66 percent in 2021, compared to 53 percent globally, emphasizing the need to close the pay gap through equality and equal pay.
“Some career sectors that employ many women are undervalued, resulting in the gender pay gap,” Alarakhia said.
Jackline Makhoha, who represented Gender and Affirmative Action State Department Principal Secretary Veronica Nduva, said the department will enforce two-thirds of gender norms to increase women in leadership roles.
“Implementing the two third gender rule will help address historical gender discrimination that contributes to gender inequality,” said Makokha.
The National Bureau of Statistics surveyed ten countries in the region from 2017 to 2022.