Countries ‘losing trillions of dollars because of gender pay gaps’

31 May 18

Countries around the world lost out on $160trn in 2014 because of the differences in earnings between men and women, according to the World Bank.

This works out as an average of $23,620 for each person, in their lifetime, in the 141 countries the bank looked at for its report, released yesterday.

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva said: “The world is essentially leaving $160trn on the table when we neglect inequality in earnings over the lifetime between men and women.

“This is a stark reminder that world leaders need to act now and act decisively to invest in policies that promote more and better jobs for women and equal pay at work.”

Women account for 38% of their country’s wealth on average, compared to 62% of men.

In low income and lower-income countries, women account for a third or less of human capital wealth.

The report calls on countries to ensure basic infrastructure and financial services to help achieve gender equality in earnings.

The bank’s group lead economist and author of the report Quentin Wodon said: “Human capital wealth accounts for two thirds of the global changing wealth of nations, well ahead of natural and other forms of capital.

“Because women earn less than men, human capital wealth worldwide is about 20% lower than it could be.”

The largest losses were between $40trn and $50trn in East Asia and the Pacific, North America, and Europe and Central Asia.

In South Asia, the losses from gender inequality are estimated at $9.1trn, while Latin America is estimated to have a loss of $6.7trn.

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