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The UAE Introduced Equal Pay For Men And Women Working In The Private Sector. When Will We Get There?

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The gender wage gap is a topic often discussed but rarely done anything about. Amongst all the socio-economic problems that affect women in our country, not getting equal pay is one of the biggest. Thank you again, patriarchy. If you think about it, it’s not only India where the pay gap between men and women is significantly large. This is a global issue. However, countries like the UAE are doing something about it. They have recently announced that there will be equal pay for men and women working in the private sector. After all, it’s things like these where actions speak much louder than words. This is a huge step in the right direction. 

Different people have different, inane arguments about why men should be paid more. They’re all either too threatened by women or believe in ridiculous stereotypes that suggest women can’t handle finances. The truth is, the world needs more empowered women and the only way to get there is to build equality in every sphere. Which is why we must follow the example that has been set by the UAE. 

On 25th August, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued The Decree of Federal Law No. 06 for 2020. It stipulated equal pay for women and men in the private sector. The decree states, “Female employees shall receive wages equal to that of males if they perform the same work or another of equal value. The procedures, controls and standards necessary for evaluating work of equal value will be set under a decision to be issued by the Cabinet, based on a proposal from the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation.” 

According to local news portals, this new federal law comes into effect today, 25th September. From today, all the women working in the private sector will be paid the same amount for the same work as men. It’s a day to celebrate. 

This new law amends Article 32 of Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 on labour relations. It reinforces gender equality in terms of wages and salaries in the private sector, as per Federal Law No.08. These changes are aimed at attracting more women to join the private sector workforce.   

Also Read: #Trending : Indian Consulate Help Repatriate A Woman From UAE After Her Video Asking To Be Rescued Against Domestic Abuse Goes Viral

I honestly wonder when India will get to a point where we can bridge the gap and celebrate gender equality instead of being afraid of it. The more I read about UAE’s equal pay law, the more I realise just how far behind we are. We need to amend laws to be more inclusive of women and ones that promote gender equality in every sphere. I hope that we can learn something from the UAE’s big reform. 

I did some research on equal pay in India. Because well, that’s how horrible I felt. Studies show that women earn 19% less than men for the same job. An Economic Times report on this study read, “The data shows gender pay difference widening with higher skill level—while there is no gender pay gap in semi-skilled work, the gap touches 20% for skilled women and 30% for highly skilled occupations.” 

On paper, India is quite forward-thinking when it comes to women. But the reality is far from that. Praising our mentality when it comes to women is like praising our methods to control the pandemic. Useless and redundant. Don’t get me wrong, we are moving forward but at a snail’s speed. We are lightyears away from issuing a law that grants equal pay to men and women, no matter how much we strive for it. 

Let’s hope that we can get there soon.

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