PETALING JAYA: Men are still earning more than women in Malaysia for doing the same jobs, except in the construction industry and the wage gap between the sexes is widening.
Men are earning an average of RM2,260 a month, compared with RM2,071 for women or a difference of 8.4%, according to the National Statistics Department’s Salaries and Wages Survey Report 2013.
In 2012, men earned an average of RM2,083 a month, against RM1,912 for women, a variance of 8.2%.
The National Statistics Department did not provide any explanation over the increasing gap.
The report also showed that men of Chinese and Indian descent earned more than women of their ethnic groups, with RM418 and RM358 average monthly wage difference respectively.
As for bumiputras, men earned an average of only RM80 more than women each month.
Skilled female workers saw their male colleagues getting paid more with a 39.7% salary difference (RM588).
Service and sales workers followed with a 34.9% difference (RM610) and those in elementary or basic occupations at 28.9% (RM327).
Only the construction industry saw women earning more than men, with a 13.1% difference (RM224).
“Female workers in the construction industry were more focused in the group of skilled and semi-skilled workers compared to male workers who tend to work as low-skilled workers,” the report said.
Apart from the construction industry, women were also seen topping men in terms of certain age groups and marital statuses.
The report found that women aged 25 to 29 and 30 to 34 years, were earning 6.8% (RM117) and 10.4% higher wages than men (RM208) on average respectively.
Single women also earned more, with a 11.8% gap (RM178).
The margin between the two genders remained closer for those aged 35 to 44, but shot up considerably once they reached the age of 45.
Urban areas also saw men earning more than women, with a 8% gap (RM184). Rural women were, however, earn RM51.50 more than men, with a 3.6% gap.
Some states also saw men paid more, with Johor (16%), Kuala Lumpur (15.6%) and Putrajaya (14.4%) leading the way.
This changed in women’s favour in Kelantan and Sabah, having a 24.6% and 13.5% gap respectively.
The survey polled some 49,216 samples known as “living quarters” which included households and individuals aged between 15 and 64.
In South-East Asia, Malaysian women appear to have better salaries than others in the region.
Singaporean women, according to its Social and Family Development Ministry, are generally (median) paid S$3,480, compared with S$3,915 for men, a 11.1% difference.
‘Years of experience determine salaries’
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