How much does Britain discriminate on grounds of gender compared to other western countries?

16 November

One of the important manifestations of discrimination against women today is the gender pay gap. This is a situation in which women earn less than men (both on average across society, and even sometimes for doing the same job).

Social scientists consider Scandinavian countries to be some of the most egalitarian countries in the world in terms of gender. If we compare the UK to Scandinavian countries, the gender pay gap is more pronounced in the UK. In Scandinavian countries, institutional support for child care and flexible work arrangements are more widely available and affordable than they are in the UK. Such institutional support has nurtured an equalisation of both gender roles in society and of attitudes towards gender roles more broadly, which helps narrow the gender pay gap. In contrast, a weakly regulated labour market and a lack of institutional support for work-life balance in the UK is an important reason for the continued existence of the gender pay gap. The gap is even larger for British ethnic minority women, who are often more economically disadvantaged, thus can not afford formal child care services.

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