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Survey reveals workplace discrimination

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A recent global survey by the International Labour Organisation has revealed that employers preferred employing men at the expense of their female counterparts each time job opportunities arise.

Report by Our Staff Writer

The report, titled Global Employment Trends for Women 2012, revealed an increase in the employment gap between male and female employees between 2002 and 2007.

“From 2002 to 2007, the female unemployment rate was 5,8% compared with 5,3% for males and the crisis raised this gap from 0,5%to 0,7% and destroyed 13 million jobs for women,” read the report.

The report, which looks at the gender gap in unemployment, employment, labour force participation, vulnerability and segregation in jobs and economic sectors, said the hardest hit countries were in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East and even in advanced economies.

“In the advanced countries, the crisis seems to have affected men in trade- dependent sectors more than women in health and education, while in developing countries, women were strongly hit in trade-related sectors,” it said.

Executive director of the United Nations Women Michelle Bachelet said the anomalies were holding back women, economic performance and growth.

“While women worldwide contribute to the economy and its productivity, they continue to face many barriers that prevent them from realising their full economic potential,” she said.

The sectoral segregation measure showed that women were more limited in their choice of employment across sectors.

“Sectoral segregation increased over time with women moving out of agriculture in developing economies and out of industry and into services in developed economies. In advanced economies, women’s employment in industry halved, crowding 85% of them into services, primarily in education and health.”

The report called for expansion of social protection measures to reduce women’s vulnerabilities, investment in skills and education, and crafting of policies to promote access to employment.

It also recommended public campaigns to challenge gender stereotypes and to ensure there was proper implementation of legislation against discrimination.

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