Decent work and living wage briefer
In the past 20 years neo-liberal globalisation has forced de-regulation of labour markets, increased the power and movement of capital and resulted in lower real wages, higher profits, increased inequality and diminished labour power. It has also significantly redefined women’s work. Asia’s growth is due primarily to an increase in the availability of women’s cheap and exploitable labour. While women’s labour market participation has grown, the conditions and wages that the majority of women workers receive are below subsistence. Minimum wages are insufficient, especially with privatisation of social services and withering social protection. The failure to increase minimum wage has allowed the gap between minimum wage and the average wage to grow and the gap between minimum wage and GDP to also grow. Asia continues to have the highest gender pay gap in the world, and the majority of women work in employment that lacks basic security, benefits, and safe working conditions.