Sunday, November 25, 2007

Survey says disparity of wages widens in Tanzania

AllAfrica: Tanzania: Disparity of Wages Widens

According to Harvard University and the University of California’s Global Gender Gap Index (GGI), Tanzania has fallen due to increases in perceived wage inequality. The GGI ranks a total of 128 countries, with Tanzania positioned at number 34 this year, falling 10 places from last year. Tanzania remains the leader in East Africa on the GGI index, ahead of Uganda and Kenya. However, it has slipped from second to fourth in Africa, and is now behind South Africa, Lesotho, and Namibia. Tanzania’s scored a 0.697 on the GGI index, where a one represents equality and a zero stands for inequality.

The GGI assesses how countries divide their resources and opportunities among males and females and is based on four critical areas of gender inequality. The first sub-index is economic participation and opportunity, which examines outcome on salaries, participation levels, and access to high-skilled employment. The second sub-index measures educational attainment, and focuses on access to basic and higher level education. The third sub-index is political empowerment, and examines representation in decision-making structures. The final sub-index is health and survival, with an emphasis on life expectancy and sex ratio.

The GGI is important, because it “provides a comprehensible framework for assessing and comparing global gender gaps” and reveals countries that are doing a better job at dividing resources equitably between men and women. It is hoped that the results will then serve as a “catalyst for greater awareness as well as greater exchange between policymakers.”

Discussion questions:
Is the GGI an appropriate measure of gender disparities? What factors contributed to Tanzania’s ranking this year?

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