Women in the Workforce Essay

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Women in the Workforce

The integration of the world economy, or economic globalization, has been an operating force for centuries. However, in recent times the effects of this phenomenon have become a major cause for debate. Economic globalization is characterized and supported by free trade, the transcending of ideas and business infrastructures across national boundaries, increased capital flows, advanced communication systems, and an increased interdependence of national economies. It is a result of increased access to information, technology, knowledge and opportunities. The debate surrounding globalization however centers on how this increased access manifests itself in different countries, particularly underdeveloped and
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This percentage is also significantly higher than it was 20 years ago (Table 2).

Table 2. Percentage of women in the workforce.
Year Percent of women in workforce*
1980 31.1
1985 32.8
1990 34.3
1995 38.7
2000 40.6
*total workforce includes men and women

As indicated by the figures presented above, women today make up a large portion of the workforce, nearly 41%. However while recent research shows that a small group of women have earnings on par with men, the overwhelming majority of the world’s women continue to earn significantly less than men. Worldwide, women earn an average of 75% of men’s pay. In some countries that number can be significantly lower or significantly higher. In Brazil women earn only 54% of what men receive while in Colombia women earn 85%. In Asia, women in Bangladesh earn as little as 42% of what men earn, while in Vietnam it’s as high as 92% . What is interesting is that up until about 1970, women’s average pay around the world remained stable at about 60% of male pay, and then in a period of only 10 years this figure jumped to 75% . This can be interpreted as a clear indicator that globalization, which began gaining tremendous speed in the mid-70’s, played a major role in tightening the wage gap in developing countries. In addition to women earning less than men on average, they also work significantly more hours than men on average. Women in developing countries work between 60-90 hours a week, while men only work between

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