Woman's Rights across the world

Written by mel henderson
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Woman's Rights across the world
The changing role of women (Getty Premium images)

In Japan, businesswomen are paid a rate of about 30-40% lower than men

The role of the woman and the opportunities available to women has changed drastically in recent years, particularly in the internet age. Though we are far from the days of bra burning, in many countries women’s rights are still very restricted, which in most cases boils down to religious and/or cultural beliefs. Women have taken a huge step up in the world of work and business, mostly due to the broadening of education rights both in the developed and developing world. We take a look at the current rights of the modern working woman around the globe.


Women today can now be seen working in professions that beforehand were unthought-of, ranging across a hugely broad spectrum of sectors, including the high-tech industry and the military.

According to a recent report published in the Guardian, women currently make up 51.4% of the work force in the UK. That said, the Guardian has highlighted the significant rise in numbers of women working in media and digital technology.

In the armed forces in the UK, women really didn’t get a chance to join until the late 80s to early 90s, as it really was a male-dominated world. According to a 2011 article published in the Evening Standard, across the army, navy and air force in the UK, “nine percent of personnel are women.”

There are however, many professions today that retain a dominantly male percentage, such as construction. The finance and banking industry also continues to have far less women working in it than men.


Modern-day feminists continue to argue that women in the workplace are still victims of discrimination, particularly when it comes to pay.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) reported that in 2012, worldwide statistics showed that overall women’s earnings were on average 18% less than men working in the same positions as them.

The report also highlighted that countries with the highest rate of pay gaps influenced by discrimination were found in South Africa, Chile and Argentina.

The ITUC report found that the gender pay gap was largest in Asia. In Japan for example businesswomen are paid a rate of about 30-40% lower than men, according to World Business Culture.com.

In the UK, although women’s salaries have increased in recent years, according to the Guardian, women continue to be paid 21% less than men, despite passing of The Equal Pay Act over forty years ago.


Though shoulder pads have been unsown in many female work suits on the rise of women in highly skilled positions, there is still a clear gap between the percentages of men and women working in positions of high authority in the workplace.

In terms of governments across the world, interestingly, Rwanda ranks as the country with the highest percentage of women in parliamentary seats, with more women than men according to 2008 statistics. Other countries at the top of the world classification for women in parliamentary seats includes: Andorra, Cuba, Sweden and the Seychelles.

In the world of business, figures tend to be a lot lower, particularly in the UK, where women are only occupying 15% of board member positions.

The situation is similar in the US, as Catalyst.com reports that the percentage of women executive officers working in the Fortune 500 companies has stagnated at 14% over the past five years.

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