A report just out from UK’s ActionAid estimates the cost of inequality in women’s work around the globe, and it is truly staggering. The report, Close the gap! The cost of inequality in women’s work, released during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, puts the gender wage and employment gap at $16.9 trillion USD – including $9.1 trillion for women in developing economies and $7.8 trillion for women in developed economies. The gap takes into account both lower levels of women’s labor force participation and wages.
The report’s publication has been noted in a recent article in The Guardian and in an ActionAid-authored article on Thomson-Reuters. Let’s see if the gauntlet thrown down by the report’s call to action section are picked up by their intended audiences: not just economic policy-makers but businesses, civil society organizations and development institutions. Personally, while I’m not holding my breath, the publication of a quantifiable estimate of the financial cost to women of economic inequality is a significant step forward.