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Canada Ranks 20th in World in Gender Wage Equality

The World Economic Forum has released its annual study on gender equality, and Canada once again is ranked 20th.    Not surprisingly, the Scandinavian countries are once again at the top of the rankings, where the state and strong unions are very actively involved in regulating the economy and redistributed wealth.

Here is the Chart.

This Globe and Mail story discusses a new TD Bank study in which the gender wage gap is explained as mostly a function of women taking more time off work to have and raise children.  I have discussed a Statistics Canada study with similar findings before.

These studies find that the persistent wage gap between men and women is largely explained by the fact that women need time off to have children and then assume the greater role in raising the children.

If that is the case, do you think the state should intervene to “fix” this?  If so, how might it do that?    Should it try to address this issue through employment laws?  Human rights laws?  Tax laws?  Or, is the gender gap not a problem requiring any state intervention at all (it’s just the “free” market at work)?

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One Response to Canada Ranks 20th in World in Gender Wage Equality

  1. xian Reply

    October 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    as i read your post, i just happened to have an article in front of me called ‘the empowerment mystique: what’s being sold in ads promoting female pride’ by peggy orenstein in the 26 september issue of the new york times magazine. it quotes [american] statistics showing that: three females receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees for every two men; 3/4 of job losses in the post 2008 recession were men’s; for the first time women are the majority of the workforce and are the primary procurers of income in over 1/4 of 2x income families. various corporate and corporate-friendly political [see 'mama grizzlies' vid by sarah palin] public relations efforts are channeling the phenomenon outlined in these statistics into a sort of neo-pseudo-feminism by framing it as ‘women’s empowerment’ when, in the light of the WEF stats, it is quite obviously far more a case of working class MEN’s relative economic DISempowerment. women are working ever longer hours – both for a wage and at home – for less money than what their male counterparts would get. more work for less money – no matter who is performing it – is music to the capitalist class’ ears. this is a case study in exactly how income inequality works to the direct advantage of the profit-mongers. it’s a bizarre form of equal opportunity sexism: a worker is worker no matter their sex, but it ‘just happens’ that women make less than men because they have to take time off to reproduce the work force at their own expense. quelle justice!

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