Going by the title there are probably a heap of posters sharpening their knives already. Personally I support equal pay for equal work, the reason why women will never match men's earning power (at least under capitalism) is that not all jobs are created equal. Generally the higher the skilled job the more it pays. I live in New Zealand which is one of the most progressive countries in the world, beaten perhaps by Scandinavia and a handful of European countries. In general the argument goes the higher skilled a job is the more you get paid. Here women make up around 60% of university students (at least where I live its a university small city). However what a lot of university educated types do not realise is that men still have a biological advantage over women when it comes to sheer brute strength. This is due to testosterone. So what does this have to do with the price of fish in a post industrial society? Here there are a lot of jobs dominated by men (usually 90%+) that women basically physically can't do. A few of those jobs a lot of men can't do. These are things like tradesmen, port workers, labourers etc. Intellectually I know there are women out there stronger than me for example and I am not as strong as a few of these guys I have met. These jobs also pay more than minimum wage. For example minimum wage here is $16.25 an hour, KFC pays around $17 an hour, and something like McDonalds is around $16.75 while super market work and cleaning is dominated by women for example and that is often minimum wage or close to it. Unless you are a complete potato anyone can basically do those jobs (we have a few potatoes here BTW gender doesn't matter). If you drive a forklift you normally get $18-$20 an hour+, port workers are often on $20+ for labouring up to salaries and hourly rates in the $100+ range for driving the big container vehicles, builders apprentices are often on something close to minimum wage but after 3 years most would get $30+ an hour. We have a builder friend who does work on our place and we pay him $40 an hour and he can still get the job done for around 1/3rd the price a company will charge. Even labouring at temp companies will generally pay $17-$20 an hour. Truck drivers are generally on $20+ an hour as well. Fast food workers are dominated by immigrants (Indians and Chinese) and women here. And this is before you factor in over time rates which a lot of companies here no longer do but you can still get time and a quarter through to time and a half and double time, freezing works here (meat processing plants/slaughter houses) pay quite well. For example I had a friend 17 years ago working at one and he was getting $25 an hour with time and a half and double time in the weekends. Supermarkets and shop do not pay over time rates generally. For the most part women can't really do these jobs (a lot of men can't/won't either). A few years ago for example I needed some money and went to a port and slung 80-90 ton per day of export stuff (well 2 of us did) and I can restack 15 tons of milk powder (20-25kg bags 45-55 pounds roughly) in 2-3 hours, wrap it up and do the paper work to ship it out. If you have been to a supermarket odds are it was mostly men who shipped the food/goods to the supermarket. Here the factories ship the goods (canned food etc) to a distribution centre and there packers pick things off the shelf to fulfil orders. A job like that pays around $18 an hour with time and a half for more than 40 hours. I also did this around 5 years ago and they had women in the office and women in small goods but all the forklift drivers, truck drivers, warehouse staff were men with 1 women doing that type of work as an exception on the afternoon shift. She was super fit, went to the gym etc and she was better than quite a few of the guys but even then she was maybe in the top 30-40% of the workers- all the super fast ones were all men. Basically from the employers PoV women are less efficient at these type of jobs even something like trades such as building- not to many women want/can carry sheets of plywood up stairs or lug around 25kg bags of concrete. That is not to say women can't make a decent income here, some are very well paid and there is a very big gender disparity in teaching for example (especially early child hood) and that pays 60-70k+ a year here but they are having trouble attracting men to do it and things like science and math teachers (those teachers do not get paid any more than a normal teacher). At the university's there is also a big gender disparity in the subjects, if you want to met women do an arts degree paper or gender studies, engineering and IT are a bit of a sausage fest. My friends mother is a CEO, my wife earns more than me. There are no barriers stopping women from doing these jobs, going to university here is quite easy if you did OK at school or are over 25 (automatic entry) and we have things like student allowances and cheap student loans. As I said earlier I support equal pay for equal work -some things will be subjective. My wife gets paid less than some of her male workers (although her job is semi unique its hard to make a fair comparison) but she will not ask for a pay rise (I suspect they would give her one) but her company looks after her well (average of 8-9% pay rises each year for last 14 years, 15% pay rise one year+ bonus every year except 2008, $50 an hour over time rate). At the local branch it seems good but the board is all pale and male and a work mate of hers left when one of the higher ups told her he wanted to f*** her so its not all plain sailing. There were no witnesses to the incident and she got a better pay rate and left for another company. And that is basically it. There are still a lot of jobs that require a decent amount of physical fitness and they can't really be automated until someone invents a humanoid type droid. The trades, freight, port work, distribution of food, furniture removal are all dominated by men, there are not enough women (few if any) that want to or can do those jobs to the required speed. A few women can drive forklifts and trucks for example but some of those jobs also require unloading it and I have not yet met a women who can carry 2 63kg kegs of beer (1 in each hand) and even at the lower levels (20kg roughly) very few can do the job as fast as an average male and the exceptional female can't do it as fast as an exceptional male (around 50% slower the DC kept track of everyone individual output fastest female vs fastest male). She was still a good worker though and was faster than a lot of the guys, just not so good fastest male vs fastest female (the fastest 2 were around 2-3 times quicker than the potato types). Potato types were usually in the union. And this is before you factor in things like time off for getting pregnant (men can't have babies obviously). Most women here have children at some point (I think its 80 or 90%+). .