This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
Take-home pay growing at lowest level since 2008, as gender-gap persists: UN labour agency
Wages in developing countries jumped by four percent last year, but for advanced economies, pay rose by just 0.4 percent, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The findings, published in the 2018/19 Global Wage Report, reveal that among the 136 countries surveyed over the last 20 years, average net wages have nearly tripled in emerging countries, compared to a growth of nine percent in richer nations.
The report also spotlights the gender pay gap for the first time, using data from 70 countries and some 80 percent of employees worldwide.
Despite some outliers, men are paid around 20 percent more than women, with the largest gaps seen in top-salaried positions for high-income countries, and lower-paid workers in lower-income nations.
ILO Director General, Guy Ryder, said the concept of equal pay for work of equal value has been featured in the constitution of the ILO for the last 100 years.
“This goes diametrically against this basic principle of equal pay for work of equal value…so this is perhaps the biggest single injustice in the world of work, and one where the international community has committed to action in the 2030 Agenda and where we hope that our report will pinpoint where we can make a difference.”
Iraq plan to eliminate violence against women
In Iraq, where women and girls remain at risk of violence in their homes, schools and public spaces, a surprising 37 percent of women aged 15 to 49, think that violence toward women is acceptable.
The finding comes from a recent joint survey by the Government of Iraq and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Dr. Oluremi Sognuro, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, said, “Ending violence against women and girls is not a choice, it is rather a long-term commitment and should become part and parcel of Iraqi society through joint efforts from all of us.
“We should do everything possible to support women and girls to have a life full of dignity and prosperity,” he added.
Sixty-three percent of these reported acts of violence in the country are perpetrated by a family member, a new study from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows.
The agency reports come as 16 days of activism campaign against Gender-Based Violence gets underway.
Threats of violence increase for women in areas of displacement and returns, particularly cases of sexual violence, exploitation, harassment and child marriage.
UNFPA is backing the launch of an emergency helpline for survivors of violence in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, and in partnership with UNICEF, is providing specialized services in the form of psychosocial support for victims.
First-Ever multi-drug Ebola trial underway in Democratic Republic of the Congo
And the Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today announced that randomized testing of drugs used to treat Ebola patients is underway, in the first-ever multi-drug trials to study their effectiveness.
The findings will form part of a multi-outbreak, multi-country study, coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and led by the DRC’s National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) in partnership with various health organization experts.
Since the latest outbreak began in the east, more than 300 cases have been reported so far, including 191 deaths. While new measures to tackle outbreaks in the country have been effective, the UN still considers the epidemic dangerous and unpredictable.
More than 160 patients have been treated with investigational therapeutics, following ethical framework developed by WHO.
The drug trial criteria were jointly designed in October, at a meeting convened by WHO, of international organizations, UN partners, countries at risk of Ebola, drug manufacturers and others.
Natalie Hutchison, UN News.