India Has the Fastest Wage Growth, But Highest Gender Wage Gap


Nov 29, 2018


In a new Global Wage Report, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has found that India leads South Asia in the highest average real wage growth — but don’t start celebrating just yet. The report also showed that India had the highest gender wage gap, out of all 73 countries that were studied. While on average across these countries, women get paid 20% less than their male counterparts, in India women get paid 34% less.

The findings of the report are empirical proof that most explanations of the gender wage gap, simply aren’t true. While differences in education levels and qualifications are often used to justify why women are paid less than men, the report shows that “in many countries, women are more highly educated than men but earn lower wages, even when they work in the same occupational categories,” says Rosalia Vazquex-Alvarez, an econometrician and wage specialist at ILO.

Read more: All the Arguments You Need to Convince People Who Think the Gender Pay Gap Isn’t a Thing

In occupational fields with a primarily female workforce, wages were lower for both men and women, showing the way gendered stereotypes about what is ‘women’s work’ depresses how people are financially remunerated for it. And amongst women, mothers were paid the least; report authors point to the need for a more equitable division of family duties between men and women to curb this.

In response to the report’s findings, the ILO Director General, Guy Ryder, says, “The gender pay gap represents one of today’s greatest manifestations of social injustice and all countries should try to better understand what lies behind them and accelerate progress towards gender equality.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.


Written By Nadia Nooreyezdan

Nadia Nooreyezdan is The Swaddle’s culture editor. Since graduating from Columbia Journalism School, she spends her time thinking about aliens, cyborgs, and social justice sci-fi. She’s also working on a memoir about her family’s journey from Iran to India.


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