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Gender pay gap refers to the difference in average earnings between men and women in the workforce. It is a significant issue that persists globally, including in India. The UPSC understands the importance of addressing this gap and recognizes it as a barrier to achieving gender equality and inclusive development.

Root Causes of the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap can be attributed to various factors:

  • Occupational segregation: Women are often concentrated in low-paying sectors as compared to men who dominate high-paying sectors.
  • Discrimination: Women may face unequal pay for equal work due to bias and gender-based discrimination.
  • Career interruptions: Women tend to have breaks in their careers due to family responsibilities, leading to slower career progression and lower salaries.
  • Negotiation skills: Women often face challenges in negotiating competitive salaries and benefits compared to their male counterparts.

Impact of the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap has far-reaching consequences:

  • Financial insecurity: Women earn less, resulting in financial challenges, poverty, and reduced economic independence.
  • Pension gaps: Lower earnings lead to inadequate pension savings, leaving women financially vulnerable during retirement.
  • Underrepresentation: Persisting pay gaps discourage women from pursuing certain careers, perpetuating gender imbalances in various sectors.
  • Reduced economic growth: Gender pay gaps hinder economic growth potential by limiting women's contribution to productivity and innovation.

Steps to Close the Gender Pay Gap

The UPSC suggests the following measures to address the gender pay gap:

  1. Equal pay for equal work: Enforce strict laws to ensure equal wages for men and women performing the same job or work of equal value.
  2. Eliminating occupational segregation: Promote gender diversity and inclusivity in all sectors to break the traditional stereotypes that restrict women to low-paying occupations.
  3. Flexible work policies: Implement flexible working hours and parental leave policies that support work-life balance for both men and women.
  4. Education and awareness: Promote gender equality through educational initiatives, raising awareness about the pay gap and its consequences.
  5. Empowering women: Enhance women's skills through training programs and encourage their participation in leadership roles.


Closing the gender pay gap is crucial for building a fair and inclusive society. It requires a collaborative effort from government bodies, employers, and society as a whole. The UPSC recognizes this challenge and emphasizes the need for policy interventions and systemic changes to create a workforce where gender disparities cease to exist.