The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work which ensure, in particular:
(a) Remuneration which provides all workers, as a minimum, with:
(i) Fair wages and equal remuneration for work of equal value without distinction of any kind, in particular women being guaranteed conditions of work not inferior to those enjoyed by men, with equal pay for equal work;
(ii) A decent living for themselves and their families in accordance with the provisions of the present Covenant;
(b) Safe and healthy working conditions;
(c) Equal opportunity for everyone to be promoted in his employment to an appropriate higher level, subject to no considerations other than those of seniority and competence;
(d ) Rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay, as well as remuneration for public holidays
The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) or the Covenant represents a similar document to the others covered in this educational series, where the emphases remain on human rights, in general, with a focus on women’s rights, in particular. Real men support women’s rights.
Maybe, this can become a big slogan some day. The entire article is above. However, the focus of this particular publication is Article 7(a)(i) in the Covenant with the explicit statement for the equality of the sexes.
In this particular stipulation, the description amounts to the standard form of a truism in the world of human rights but then shifts into the more particular mentioned earlier relating to the equality of women with men.
The CEDAW mentions several of these forms of statements and provides a broad and functional basis for the equality of the sexes. However, the main focus, here at least, is the specific relevance of this stipulation – along with Article 3 covered weeks ago.
The stipulation speaks to the right to equality in wages and remuneration. Not only in the financial aspects of the payback for a job done but also in the ways in which this gets implemented for the bonuses and other benefits of a job; these can often be non-trivial, especially for those who really need them.
The distinctive part of this stipulation starts with “in particular women” in which the obvious is made explicit. An important distinction in terminology by the way, but also an important acknowledgment within the Covenant.
The Covenant creators and signatories realized the need to emphasize the right of women to be the work equals of the men of the world without discrimination; wherein any form of a differential in the fair wages and equitable compensation becomes discrimination, that form of bias then being unacceptable to the wider set of communities: the international community.
The inferiority of women gets assumed at numerous levels in the world. One of the most prominent comes in the form of the transcendental secondary status in fundamentalist and literalist translations of the religious texts, particularly Christianity in “the West” and Islam in “the East.”
The main emphasis is the acknowledgment and then the equal pay for equal work. For those who have been following many of the publications as of recent, the emphasis in Canadian acts and documents have been, at times and for whole documents, the right for equal pay for equal work.
This becomes the slogan for the women’s rights activists. However, this does not limit to that statement alone. In the Canadian documents, they will emphasize a number of things including effort, time, and skill.
The equitable pay for women in a number of domains has been explicitly denied to them. This is, obviously, discriminatory and, therefore, unfair and unjust to about half of the human population based on sex alone.
That discrimination comes in the form of the lower paycheque for the women working in the same job with the same qualifications and at the same hours. It is discrimination based on sex. Many women are miffed over this, rightfully so.
Other times, it is only the appearance of inequality without looking into the details of the time, effort, and skill of the employees in question. However, and in general, the basic premise of women earning more than the men is not the historical norm based on a real and decreasing gender pay gap or sex pay gap in the cases of equal time, effort, and skill in a job.
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Preamble, Article 16, and Article 25(2).
- Convention Against Discrimination in Education (1960) in Article 1.
- The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) in Article 3, Article 7(a)(i), and Article 13.
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966).
- Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
- The Declaration on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (1993).
- Beijing Declaration(1995).
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2000).
- The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa or the “Maputo Protocol” (2003).
- Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence or the Istanbul Convention (2011) Article 38 and Article 39.
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