South Korea’s gender wage gap widest among OECD nations

August 4, 2014
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South Korea topped the list of wage gap between men and women among advanced countries.

(Yonhap) South Korea topped the list of wage gap between men and women among advanced countries with the gender pay gap hardly narrowing over the past decade, data showed Monday.

According to the data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), South Korea’s wage gap by gender stood at 37.4 percent, the highest among the 11 OECD member nations surveyed, as of 2012.

The figure means that South Korean women are paid 37.4 percent less than their male counterparts.

Japan came next with a wage gap of 26.5 percent, followed by the United States with 19.1 percent, Canada with 18.8 percent and Britain with 17.8 percent.

New Zealand posted the narrowest wage gap between men and women at 6.2 percent, the data showed.

South Korea’s gender income gap was 40 percent in 2000, also topping the OECD list at that time, meaning the country has only narrowed the gap by slightly over 2 percentage points over the cited period.

Experts attribute South Korea’s widest gender income gap to the country’s stiff job market for women and poor social services for working moms. In South Korea, women typically quit their jobs when they give birth and focus on child bearing and return to work as temporary workers, who are not entitled to full-time benefits.

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