Nuptials widen the wage gap
Marriage is “a major turning point that shapes the individual’s trajectory in subsequent years,” according to Siwei Cheng from the University of Michigan’s department of sociology.
“The wage effect of marriage occurs through a cumulative process that unfolds slowly over life, which results in the gender wage gap widening every year.”
In a sample of more than 12 600 people in the United States, Cheng noted their hourly wage, marital status, years of marriage and work experience.
On average, the wages of both sexes increased over time, but men experienced faster growth.
Having children was noted as a major factor in the slowing of wage growth. Work-life conflict and employer discrimination also affected a married mother’s earnings growth, Cheng said.
In Stats SA’s gender statistics, released in 2011, the organisation found that “men are more likely to be in paid employment than women regardless of race … [and] women with tertiary education earn around 82% of what their male counterparts earn”..