Monday, June 2, 2008

The Fight for Equal Pay For Women

Today is the fortieth anniversary of industrial action by 3 Ford workers, campaigning for equal pay for women. The women machinists found that they were getting 15% less pay than a group of men doing the same job. The dispute, with the help of Barbara Castle, was settled and this action led to the 1970 Sex Discrimination Act which outlawed the principle of paying genders different wages for the same job. However, 40 years later, the pay gap between men and women is still high. - Women are paid 17% less than men.

However, the reasons for differences in pay are much less straightforward than this Guardian article would suggest. From an economic perspective, wage differentials could be explained due to factors others than discrimination. This is a previous essay I wrote - Why Women are paid less than men

What do you think are the main causes of differences in pay and what should be done about it?

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