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Executive Summary for July 6th

In this week’s gender equality news: Myanmar helps Japan care for its elderly, Hawaii bans employers from asking about past salary and how the gender pay gap starts at home.

Published on July 6, 2018 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Myanmar Sends Workers to Care for Japan’s Elderly

As Japan struggles to care for its aging population, Myanmar has said it will lift its ban on sending domestic workers overseas, to enable them to travel to Japan to help look after the elderly.

Agencies will start sending workers to Japan next month. Myanmar implemented its domestic worker ban in 2014, in response to reports of abuse. But with few job opportunities at home, some women are still traveling abroad illegally. Migrant rights activists in Singapore say there are up to 60,000 Myanmar domestic workers in the country.

Myanmar’s agreement with Japan comes at a time when the latter is looking for solutions to ease its elderly care crisis. The country has the world’s oldest population, with 27 percent of its citizens aged 65 and older. That figure is expected to increase to almost 40 percent by 2050.

The tradition of home care is putting an increasing burden on families, as half of family caregivers are 65 and older, and the government has warned that by 2025, the nursing care industry will face a shortage of about 380,000 workers.

Hawaii Is Next to Ban Questions About Salary History

Hawaii is the latest U.S. state to ban employers from asking for a job candidate’s salary history, as a growing number of states, cities and companies across the country adopt measures to address the gender pay gap.

Advocates for women and minorities have been pushing for the law, which goes into effect on January 1. It prohibits prospective employers from asking for previous salaries as part of a job application or using salary history to determine how much a new employee will be paid. It also bans employers from forcing employees to keep their wages secret from their co-workers.

The law aims to stop employers from penalizing women for their lower pay status at their old jobs. In the United States, women earn around 82 percent of what men earn. But while equal pay advocates are applauding the trend, some researchers say it could do more harm than good, because it can leave employers to automatically assume – whether consciously or not – that women earn less.

In a study conducted last year, compensation data and software company PayScale revealed that women who were asked about their salary history and refused to disclose it were offered 1.8 percent less than women who did disclose the figure when asked. But if men refused to disclose their previous salary, they received an offer that was 1.2 percent higher than men who did.

The Pocket Money Pay Gap

The gender pay gap starts long before we enter the workforce, according to new research by BusyKid, a chores and allowance app.

Analyzing its database, the app’s creator found that boys in the U.S. are paid more than twice as much allowance as girls and also earn bigger bonuses. BusyKid looked at millions of transactions by 10,000 families and saw that boys get an average of $13.80 per week in pocket money, while girls earn just $6.71. The average bonus for boys is $17.01; for girls, it’s $15.54.

The app suggests payment amounts according to age, not gender, but one theory for the pay gap is occupational segregation: how society views the difference between “women’s work” and “men’s work.”

“There’s a difference when it comes to the types of chores that boys and girls typically do. Let’s say cleaning the bathroom versus mowing the lawn,” BusyKid CEO Gregg Murset told CNN Money. “Harder jobs typically require a little bit more pay … Maybe us as parents are giving our girls chores in the house that don’t take two or three hours outside, and there’s a difference in the pay scale.”

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