Women are still only being paid half of what men earn, according to a new
The DTI report shows the weekly average income for women in 2000-2001 was
£133 – compared to £271 for men.
However, this is still an improvement on five years ago when women’s average
weekly income was 46 per cent of men’s. It is now 49 per cent.
About 40 per cent of women had a total individual income of less than £100
per week in 2000-2001, compared with less than 20 per cent of all men.
Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission Julie Mellor, said: "The
figures were shocking and reveal how many women are still existing on the
"Although a minority have access to top jobs and generous incomes, for
the majority low pay or no pay remains a fact of life," she said.
"Inequality on this scale demands urgent action. Employers must ensure
their pay systems are fair, that their working practices don’t keep women with
children in low paid jobs, or force them out of work altogether."
Mellor said that there needs to be a change in the UK’s work culture so that
men can play their part in family life and enable more women to share the role
"Our education system must equip girls for a wide range of jobs, rather
than channelling them into the low-paid jobs traditionally done by women,"
she said. "It’s time to prove a real commitment to equality."
Pay equality was closest for single, childless women below the age of 40.
They earned an average of £264 a week – 15 per cent below that of a single man.
By Quentin Reade