25 Aug 2022

Fiji women earn far less than men says new report

9:18 am on 25 August 2022

A new report shows that while women's participation in the Fijian workforce is growing, the pay gap between them and their male colleagues is the widest in the Pacific.

The Asian Development Bank report Women's Resilience in Fiji: How Laws and Policies Promote Gender Equality in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management said Fiji has not adopted nor enforced the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.

Photo: ADB

It also notes a compounding issue is the lack of ability to access minimum wage for many.

Fiji has had a National Minimum Wage Policy in place since 2014 but it only covers 10 key sectors.

The report writers said the minimum wage should be extended to specific categories of work.

"Although Fiji has ratified ILO (International Labour Organisation) Convention 100, it has not adopted nor enforced the principle of equal pay for work of equal value," the ADB report stated.

"In 2015, the minimum wage was increased, benefiting approximately 100,000 vulnerable workers. As of 2021, access is still not widespread enough to those who are likely most affected by climate change impacts.

"A minimum wage floor could be extended to specific categories of work in Fiji, work in which women tend to be disproportionately represented such as agricultural workers and in some service industries.

"Decent work includes important ingredients for strengthening the economic resilience of women to climate change and disasters, increasing women's participation in the workforce, improving the types of jobs they perform, and their remuneration for those jobs.

Women workers in Fiji

Women workers in Fiji Photo: Facebook

"Agriculture, fisheries, and tourism remain some of the greatest sources of employment for men and women in Fiji and are severely impacted by climate change and disaster risks.

"Decent work for women in these sectors is therefore an important aspect of women's socioeconomic resilience in Fiji and laws and policies need to be in place to support this," said the ADB report.