Income disparity

Income disparity or wage gap is a term used to describe inequities and asymmetry in the distribution of wealth and income between socio-economic groups within society. The term also has many other definitions:

Common examples include:
*The income gap between the wealthy and the poor.
*lower average income for females than males (see Gender gap below)

Income disparity in Malaysia

According to the UNDP 1997 Human Development Report, [ [http://www.aseanfocus.com/asiananalysis/article.cfm?articleID=35 Asian Analysis 1998 by Asean Focus Group] , Professor Michael LeighDirector Institute of East Asian Studies University Malaysia, Sarawak.] and the 2004 United Nations Human Development (UNHDP) report, [ [http://www.dapmalaysia.org/english/2005/july05/lge/lge149.htm Speech at the Meeting between DAPSY National and Perak State Leaders In Teluk Intan by Lim Guan Eng] , If the 2004 Petronas profits of RM 35.6 billion (US$9.89 billion) were distributed to the poor, Malaysia would not have wealth distribution problems.] Malaysia has the highest income disparity between the rich and poor in Southeast Asia, greater than that of Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. The UNHDP Report shows that the richest 10% in Malaysia control 38.4% of the economic income as compared to the poorest 10% who control only 1.7%. Kuala Lumpur as the capital of Malaysia has an increasing number of squatters, shanty towns and slums, and is also seeing an increase in criminal acts such as snatch theft, robberies, and rape.

Gender gap

In the context of economic inequality, gender gap generally refers to the systemic differences in the social and economic roles and wages of men and women, or boys and girls. There is a debate to what extent this is the result of gender differences, lifestyle choices, or because of discrimination.

The widespread mechanization of industry has been accompanied by a shift in gender differentials in highly industrialized countries. However, this closing of the gender gap has not necessarily been followed in less industrialized countries, where women may earn less than two thirds that of men. [http://www.wiego.org/papers/sethexec.html Gender, Informality and Poverty: A Global Review] S.V. Sethuraman, WIEGO, October 1998]

A United Nations report found that women working in manufacturing earned the following percentages in relation to men in 2003. The statistics are based on wages for all male and female workers, regardless of age, experience, or other factors. [http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/products/indwm/ww2005/tab5g.htm Statistics and indicators on women and men: Table 5g Women's wages relative to men's] United Nations Statistics Division, 22 April 2005]

In 2004, women's wages in the USA were 76.5% of men's wages. [This number compares the income off all men and women who work 35 hours or more each week. See Institute for Women's Policy Research, [http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/WageRatioPress_release8-27-04.pdf 'Women's earnings fall: U.S. Census Bureau finds rising gender wage gap'] , media release, 27 August 2004, retrieved Dec 2007] However, some studies, such as those done by the Independent Women's Forum, conclude that when taking into account variables when comparing male and female employment within the United States - type of job, hours worked in a week, tenure, benefits (for example maternity leave) - women make 98% of men's income. For further information, see Male-female income disparity in the USA . Similarly, Thomas Sowell argued in the book, "Civil Rights", that most of said gap is based on marital status, not a “glass ceiling” discrimination. Earnings for men and women of the same basic description (education, jobs, hours worked, marital status) were essentially equal. That result would not be predicted under explanatory theories of “sexism”. ["Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality", Thomas Sowell, 1984. "Markets and Minorities, Thomas Sowell, 1981] However this leaves a question as to inequality in marriage where women, not men, suffer gender pay gap when they marry.

According to the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics, it would take 150 years for the income gap between the two genders to close up due to discrimination and ineffective government policies. cite web |url=http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=71698|title="Women have to wait 150 yrs for equal pay: Study"|publisher=The Indian Express|accessdate=2006-07-29]

ee also

*Economic inequality
*Income inequality metrics
*International inequality
*Male-female income disparity in the USA
*Income disparity in Malaysia

References

External links

* [http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/search.tkl?q=wage+gap&search_crit=title&search=Search&date1=Anytime&date2=Anytime&type=form Read Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports regarding Gender Wage Gaps]


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