DT: Gender disparity – as seen through the difference in wages between male and female employees – is wider in the private sector than in the public sector, a report by the Economic Development Board (EDB) has found.
The Bahrain Economic Quarterly, an economic revision report to be issued by the EDB later this month, says that in the public sector women’s wages were 10 per cent higher than those of their male counterparts during 2011, as against the private sector where women were found to be earning only 70pc of men’s wages.
There are many factors affecting the gender wage gap, as per the report.
Female unemployment comprises 67pc of total unemployment for the quarter.
Low female participation is another main contributor to gender wage gap.
Female participation in 2011 was estimated at 33pc in comparison to males’ participation rate of 57.1pc. Women make up 78pc and 65pc of total Bahraini employment in the education and health sectors respectively.
When analysing the information from the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), the gender-wage ratio was seen as the lowest in the finance sector (a high earning sector) and the highest in the construction sector (a low earning sector).
The last factor is years of service and age as 76pc of females are employed for less than 10 years, compared to 54pc for males and this could mean that there are fewer women occupying or remaining in managerial posts.
In other words, even though the percentage of women with a university degree is higher than that of males (17pc in comparison to 10pc), men tend to acquire more experience through greater years of service and hence may occupy more managerial posts and therefore potentially higher wages.
As age increases, the gender wage gap increases from 7pc for workers less than 20 years of age to 87pc for workers aged above 70.
In a statement, the EDB said the report is issued periodically to reflect a transparent picture of Bahrain’s economy and will be made available on its website.