Female Labour Force Participation Rates (LFPR)
Economic opportunities remain skewed in favour of males. Many patriarchal societies, typically third-world countries continue to have an unequal distribution of jobs among the sexes. This has also given rise to differences in LFPR (Labour Force Participation Rates). Despite the dramatic strides taken by many women across multiple industries, gender differences in jobs and sectors remain a problem.
Contrary to expectation, many subsistence and commercial activities display equal competency whether males or females perform them. Women tend to earn less than men, but this does not mean that they are less competent at what they do. The above chart indicates that the highest female labour force participation rates are in Canada, China, Australia and East Africa. The Middle East is surprisingly deficient in this regard, and much the same is true in North Africa and India.
Women Are More Educated and More Involved Than Ever Before
Educational changes among women have been widespread since 1975. In Latin America for example, there has been a 42% uptick in female labor force participation over the past 40 years. Even family dynamics are constantly changing, with women having children at a later age, and various benefits being conferred upon women and men for maternity and paternity leave respectively. This means that women are closing the gap on men in many aspects. Improved education opportunities have not entirely eliminated the problem of gender disparities in the workforce however.
In Asia for example, women’s participation in the labor force is severely limited. This is more the result of cultural and social norms than it is about education. Despite the rapid rise of women through the ranks, they are systematic gender differences in earning potential between men and women. This is particularly true in Third World countries like Paraguay, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Egypt, Philippines, and the like. However, these gender-based wage differences are reduced in the public sector.
Power Players in Multiple Industries
In 2016, the top 10 most powerful women in the world according to Forbes were listed as follows:
- Angela Merkel – German Chancellor
- Hillary Clinton – Presidential Candidate
- Janet Yellen – Head of Fed
- Melinda Gates – From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Mary Barra – General Motors CEO
- Christine Lagarde – Head of IMF
- Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook
- Susan Wojcicki – YouTube
- Meg Whitman – Hewlett Packard
- Ana Patricia Botin – Santander Group
These women are game changers in global economics, politics and in shaping policy across the board. We are seeing a proliferation of female athletes dominating the scene. The most popular female athletes of all time include Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Lindsay Vonn, Danica Patrick, Billie Jean King, Lisa Leslie, Bonnie Blair, Tracy Caulkins, Misty May & Kerri Walsh, Steffi Graf, and Ronda Rousey.
Women Dominating in Poker Too
Poker has traditionally been a game dominated by a male heavy field of players. The likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivey, Chris Moneymaker, and others ring out. Poker was perceived as a guy’s game, but modern-day realities reveal anything but. Women have taken to poker like ducks to water. In a relatively short period of time, female poker stars have emerged and are dominating the scene in a big way. There are many world-class female poker champions, including the legendary Canadian poker player Xuan Liu. At 30 years old, she already has 2 career titles and 38 career cashes to her credit. With $1.5 million in winnings, she is a girl on a roll. She was also featured prominently on the Girl Got Game Reality TV show, and was the center of attention in the Celebrity Charity Poker Tournament in Los Angeles, back in May 2016. According to Xuan Liu, ‘… I think it’s very shallow when someone’s states that the game is easier for females. There is a different set of obstacles involved. There may be more opportunities, but it’s also harder to gain respect from your peers.’