Making a Case for Gender Pay Equality in Private Education

A conference organized last month by the National Committee for Pay Equity (NCPE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) called for fair wages for female teachers in private schools in Jordan.

According to a 2013 ILO report, female teachers working in Jordan’s private schools earn an average monthly wage of JD254 compared to JD435 for men, resulting in a gender pay gap of 41.6 percent.

The conference sought to address this issue by involving senior policy makers and legislators, along with representatives from workers’ unions, academic institutions, and international organizations.

The event also called for a greater appreciation of the value of working women’s contribution to the Kingdom’s economy, highlighting the low rate of female participation in the workforce, which according to the ILO is one of the lowest in the world, coming to just 16 percent in 2013.

“Women have an indispensable role to play in the development of Jordan’s economy,” said Shauna Olney, chief of the gender, equality, and diversity branch of the ILO. Olney added that while much progress has been made in promoting pay equity, she hopes to see more active support of women in the workforce.

According to the ILO, they are soon to release a study which predicts that Jordan could boost its annual output to almost $2 billion if more women joined the labor force and if they were paid fairly.

A press statement released by the ILO after the event noted that while Jordan has ratified the ILO Equal Remuneration Convention in 1966 and the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention in 1963, the provisions of these conventions have still not been articulated in Jordanian law.