by Liz Stuart, Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association (Canada)
This panel discussed the level of countries' engagement in establishing economic rights for women and how women in turn should hold them accountable. The question was asked: "What are you doing to achieve these goals?"
while the gender wage gap globally averages 23%, in South Korea it is 37%. It is not jut about the pay gap it is about access. It is not just to work but to decent work.
In 100 countries, women are prohibited from some work; in 18 countries, men can stop women from working, in 4 countries, a woman needs her husband's permission to register a business. There are 1.1 billion women who are excluded from access to banking. These are all staggering facts that highlight the work yet to be done. There are programs available in developing countries that offer skills training and mentorship as well as connect women to business networks.
Ambassador Oh Joon of South Korea noted there needs to be a cultural change to modify the number of women in the workplace. She realized that when she joined the foreign ministry 30 years ago at which time she was the only woman in her workplace. Many women were and are forced to quit when they marry or have children. That cultural shift is happening.