One of the main consequences of global integration has been the rise in women’s participation rates in paid work. Though some of these jobs are higher skilled ones there has been a trend for women to increasingly work in precarious and unstable conditions. The labor market flexibility promoted by neoliberal policies has resulted in employment and income insecurity. Also, while women enter the paid labor force in rising numbers, it does not reduce their burden of unpaid work, which remains a primarily feminized sphere. Therefore, women are more likely to work longer hours per day than men when examining the time allocated to both paid and unpaid work. Moreover, the heavier burden of unpaid care work that women face limits their time available for paid work, which negatively affects their incomes. Depending on the measure chosen, estimates show that the global gender wage gap ranges from 16 to 22 per cent.
The inequalities and gender-based discrimination that women encounter in the world of work – both paid and unpaid – have serious consequences. In particular, the precarious nature of the work and the uncertainty of continuous employment impact negatively their economic autonomy, making women more vulnerable to gender-based violence (GBV). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 35 per cent of women around the globe have experienced either physical and/or sexual violence in their lives, and most of this violence is intimate partner violence (IPV). When women are not financially independent, there is a power imbalance within the household, and it is even more difficult for women to remove themselves from risky situations. Furthermore, precarious working conditions often make women more vulnerable to violence at work.