The Argentine Work and Production Ministry released its gender and occupational risks report for the second trimester of 2018, revealing a 19 percent wage gap between men and women. In June of this year, men earned an average of US $900.66 and women earned US $757.24 — the same ratio as 2017.
However, it is possible that the wage gap is much larger than it appears to be, as salaries for domestic work are unavailable and thus are not included in the average wage for women cited above — and with a national minimum wage of between US $243.27 and US $332.81, it’s entirely feasible that this is the case.
Out of all registered workers who earn a salary, 41 percent were women and 59 percent were men. The report breaks these numbers down into two categories: production work and domestic work. Almost all men work in the production sector, 99.8 percent, and 87.7 percent of women also work in this field. This leaves 12.3 percent working in domestic services — a considerable portion of the workforce to have missing from the data on wages.
The report gives a few hypotheses as to why this wage gap exists, including the rationale that a large part of the female workforce (67 percent) is in the social service sector of the economy, which has a lower average salary. On the other hand, the social service sector in and of itself has a wage gap of 15.5 percent between men and women, so this argument falls somewhat short of its goal to rationalize the inequality.
Their next hypothesis is outlined in the following statement: “In order to establish comparisons that contextualize the differences [of wage] better, we can look at the worker’s occupation, since the economic activity of the employer allows us to thinking about the coverage in terms of occupational risks.”
This somewhat roundabout allegation suggest that men are paid more than women in Argentina because they are in more dangerous workplaces than women — a statement that many would contest.
According to the World Economic Forum, the global wage gap in 2017 was 32 percent.