COMMENT | 24 years and gender wage gap still a chasm

Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor

Modified 1 May 2021, 2:18 am

COMMENT | Malaysia must make closing the gender wage gap in all sectors of the workforce a priority before offering itself as a candidate for membership to the UN Human Rights Council, as it has already made a commitment to fully incorporate the principles of the Equal Remuneration Convention (C100) that was ratified 24 years ago.

In conjunction with Labour Day 2021 and because human rights is not a tool to rebrand the government image for political gain, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS) calls on the government to take responsibility for its failure to address the explicit discriminations that continue to exist in the country’s labour laws throughout the purview of six prime ministerial terms since ratifying C100 in 1997.

The Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendation (CEACR) published its report on Malaysia at the 109th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) 2021, and indicated that firstly, there was a “possibility of indirect discrimination where female-dominated groups of workers are excluded from the application of minimum wage legislation”, further noting “in particular those most vulnerable to wage discrimination such as domestic workers”.

The CEACR stressed that “where certain categories of workers are excluded from general labour or employment law”, it needs to be determined whether special laws or regulations are needed to apply to such groups and whether they provide the same level of right and protection as the general provisions.

This observation was made in reference to the exclusion of domestic workers from the minimum wage coverage in the 2018 Minimum Wages Order, which the government had reported was upon the advice of the National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC)...

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