The Giving Capsules: Take the SDG pledge (3)

  • The gender pay gap is trending
  • Women on average receive lower wages than men in Ghana
  • Your decision to hire should not be influenced by gender   

Is your decision to hire influenced by gender as an employer?  Be agile as the gender pay gap is trending. Labour market participation is very important. We can observe and determine the wages of Ghanaians when employed. The observation usually can start only when the individual Ghanaian makes a choice to get employment and then decides to join the labour market or secondly get an employer be it the bigger employer – government or private sector and or other entrepreneurs decide to hire that Ghanaian. Whiles employed, we can determine the wages.

Men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay unless any difference in pay can be justified. Why would you pay a woman less for the same work done as a man? Our non-adherence to “equal work for equal pay” is what has created the “gender pay gap”. Women make up half of the global population but only contribute to 37 percent of the global GDP and a gender equal economy would add as much as $12 trillion to annual global GDP by 2025. Reason we need to empower women and pay them the right wages.

Women need more support and encouragement as their labour market participation differs from men. A woman cannot decide to for instance, go to school, work, get pregnant, take care of children and so forth without doing anything else year by year in turns. If she is not fortunate enough to get these things done earlier, she has to learn to combine these roles systematically all way through as she grows and progress the corporate ladder. Reason women need more help and support. It appears some employer’s decision to hire is influenced by gender. The gender pay gap is trending, join me take the SDG pledge. Ghana has seen an increase in gender pay gap in favour of male workers.

Let’s take the Sustainable Development Goals pledge together. Pledge with me to make sustainability a priority personally. Pledge with me, “I understand that my actions, behaviors, and choices make an impact on the society, environment, and our economy. I pledge to make intentional choices that will benefit the quality of life for myself and advocate for choices that benefit the lives of others”. Furthermore, am requesting you don’t only be amazing in life, but learn to #beHumane.

World leaders declared the period 2020 to 2030 as the Decade of Action for the Sustainable De­velopment Goals (SDGs) in September 2019. Unfortunately, few months after this historic declaration, our world was hit by the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, push­ing us into “unchartered territory”, while fear and sheer terror gripped many.  The pandemic since have had a devastating effect on lives, livelihoods, global supply chains, businesses, and significant­ly eroded the development gains made over the last decade and the prospects of achieving the SDGs have become more daunting, but giving up is not an option for all. As the world re-opens up and begins to recover from the deleterious effects of the pandem­ic, the SDGs have, become even more relevant as they present us with a credible pathway for a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and peaceful world. Continuing from previous publication…

What then is the status of the indicators as reported in the 2022 Voluntary National Report (VNR) on the SDG’s?

SDG goal 8 – promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. What do we mean when we talk of “decent work”? “Decent work means opportunities for every- one to get work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration.” Decent work is important because, quality employment and decent work conditions help reduce inequalities and poverty, and empower people, especially women, young people and the most vulnerable such as people with disabilities. The four pillars of decent work as put forward by the International Labour Organization (ILO) looks at full and productive employment; rights at work; social protection; and promotion of social dialogue.

According to the 2022 VNR on the SDG’s, Ghana has seen an increase in gender pay gap in favour of male workers from about 29% in 2015 to 39% in 2017. Relevant date available from the 2000, 2010 and 2021 population and housing censes has it that the average hourly earnings of paid employees by sex and age postulated 83.9% for males in 2000, 86.2% in 2010 and 77.1% in 2021 respectively. The same data postulates a 79.1%, 81.2% and 73.7% respectively for females from years 2000, 2010 and 2021. The gender pay gap is trending, and Ghana’s stance isn’t different. How can women support as engine of growth for the country when the gender pay gap is still trending? Be agile.

Ghana recorded a 5.7 % annual growth rate of real GDP per capital in 2017 but experienced a downturn in 2018 to 3.9% and a 4.1 %( 2019) per the report. The figure for 2020 was a negative 1.3% (-1.3%) due to covid-19 and 5.3% for 2021. Then the proportion of informal (elementary occupations) employment in total employment saw a decline from 86.2(2010) to 77.1% (2021). More females were engaged in informal employment (81.1%) than males (73.7%) and rural (87.7%) than urban (69.7%) in 2021 and higher for the 15-24 years.

The labour market is characterized by disparity in earnings across gender and occupations. With average hourly earnings of male workers (GHC6 in 2015; GHC7 in 2017) whiles females remained unchanged at same periods (GHC4.47 in 2015; GHC4.24 in 2017 again with a decrease). This results in increase in gender pay gap in favour of male workers. Its worth knowing that professionals, technician’s managers and legislators earn higher on average than sales, crafts, agriculture and elementary work almost others. Unemployment rate among the population 15 years and older is (13.4%) and higher for females (females – 15.5%: males – 11.6%). Among the population 15-35 years, unemployment is (19.7%) and even higher for young adults 15-24years (32.8%). Again for all age brackets, unemployment rate is higher in urban than rural areas and in 2021, 13.5% of the labour force with disability were unemployed (male- 11.1%, females 15.4%). But I dare say that, the disability of this labour force must not be seen as their inability to work either. Take the SDG pledge.

What then are the emerging issues for consideration?

The gender pay gap can be addressed with purposive policies such as increase in minimum wage, enforce pay equity to root us the discrepancies with pay audits undertaken periodically, make quota’s with percentages for women, use skills based assessment and improve workplace diversity.

The problem of youth unemployment and under employment coupled with high rate of unemployment amongst people with disability (PWDs) as a major development challenge as employment creation remains a major priority in Ghana’s development agenda. Providing the youth and PWDs with opportunities for employment and labour market information will be a step in the right direction.  Untapped job creation potentials in manufacturing, agriculture and TVET sectors is equally daunting. I have been advocating that Technical Vocational Education and Training is life skills, and a life skill is life in itself promoting self-reliance. TVET believes in the philosophy of self-help to become self – reliant. This industry cannot be meant for school drop outs. It’s a myth, let’s burst it.

Earlier publications reviewed progress made for SDG goals 1 to 8. Subsequent editions will review the other SDG goals to include; Goal 9 – build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. Goal 10 – reduce inequality within and among countries. Goal 11 – make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Goal 12- ensures sustainable consumption and production patterns.  Goal 13 – take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Goals 14- conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. Goal 15- protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Goal 16 –promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Goals 17-strengthen the Means of Implementation and Revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

 Baptista S. H.Gebu (Mrs.)

Baptista is a Hybrid Professional and the Executive Director of ProHumane Afrique International.  ProHumane is a charitable, development & think thank organization working with communities & individuals to create sustainable solutions to transform communities through diverse pro-poor initiatives. Pro-poor initiatives are initiatives that help to alleviate poverty. Baptista is a realist, affable, simple and humane. You can reach us via e-mail on [email protected]  and follow this conversation on all our social media sites: Linked-In/ Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram: ProHumane Afrique International.  Call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313. Hashtag: #behumane #thegivingcapsules #prohumaneafriqueint  #fowc

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