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3 Gaps That Remain Open Between Women and Men

Women encounter disproportional representation in sectors such as politics, media, and business.

The Woman Post | Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra

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Even in terms of access to their own time women perform activities that tend to be more time-consuming than men.

1. The labor gap

According to the study Work and Children in Spain: Challenges and Opportunities for Equality Between Men and Women, by Claudia Hupkau and Jenifer Ruiz Valenzuela, the labor gap is very representative and has worsened with the pandemic. Likewise, in the last decade, the percentage of women with part-time contracts (23%) has tripled that of men (7%).

The authors also conclude that the situation is more serious in the case of women with children. At the end of the second decade of this century, women with children under the age of 15 are twice as likely to be unemployed and seven times more likely than men with children of the same age to work part-time contracts.

According to RTVE “The pandemic has reminded us that women are disproportionately represented in some sectors that, although they can be considered essential, are less paid. Not only has the pay gap not closed in this pandemic year, but it has also widened and threatens to persist for many years."

The gap is wider, the higher the position. In 2020, Business Insider said there were more women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies than ever before, with 41 women. However, the numbers are still worryingly low. The Fortune 500 is an annual list of 500 of the largest US companies ranked by total revenues. Despite the progress compared to previous years, close to 8% of all Fortune 500 companies are led by women. Furthermore, only three women on the list of Fortune 500 female CEOs are women of color. 

2. The power gap

The representation of women in politics is still far from achieving equality. The study by UN Women, Facts and Figures: Women's political leadership and participation, shows that only in 22 countries there are female heads of state or government. 119 countries have never had a woman head of state and at the current rate, gender equality in the highest echelons of decisions will not be achieved for another 130 years. Furthermore, only 21 percent of those who held ministries were women and there are only 13 countries in the world with more than 50% women ministers. According to the study, at the rate we are going, gender parity in ministerial-level positions will not be achieved before 2077.

Also read: THE LABOR GAP IN COLOMBIA AS A CONSEQUENCE OF COVID-19

Gender inequality in the Media is also a concerning issue. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism's report: Women and Leadership in News Media in 2021- Evidence from 12 Markets, looks at gender inequality in newsroom leadership. The study takes a sample of 240 large online and offline media in 12 markets on four continents.

Among the results, it was found that only 22% of the hierarchical positions of the 240 media in the sample were held by women, despite the fact that, on average, women make up 40% of the total number of journalists in the studied media outlets.

3. The time gap

"The first frontier of equality is the availability over one 's own life," says sociologist Jorge Galindo. Thus, he states that while women dedicate more time to taking care of their children, partners, or the house shores, their lives outside the home will start with a disadvantage.

According to Hupkau and Ruiz-Valenzuela’s article, the gap in the time of care and unpaid shores has only widened during the pandemic. "The time-use data show that women were more likely to take primary responsibility for most household and childcare tasks, even if both parents were working during quarantine." It is estimated that the gender gap in the daily hours of childcare has increased by more than one hour in the last year, as indicated by RTVE.