[Excerpt] More women work today than ever before. In 2003, 1.1 billion of the world's 2.8 billion workers, or 40 per cent, were women, representing a worldwide increase of nearly 200 million women in employment in the past 10 years. However, women still face higher unemployment rates, receive lower wages than men and represent 60 per cent of the world's 550 million working poor.
By analysing 7 labour market indicators, the Global Employment Trends for Women 2004 finds that the explosive growth in the female workforce has not been accompanied by true socio-economic empowerment for women, nor has it led to equal pay for equal work or balanced other benefits making women equal to men across nearly all occupations. In short, true equality in the world of work is still out of reach.