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Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 19:13

Report: Poverty worse among HK women

By Shadow Li

Report: Poverty worse among HK women
A woman (center ) walks down an alleyway past customers eating at a restaurant in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong on June 6, 2016. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

HONG KONG - One in six Hong Kong women were living in poverty in 2015 with median monthly salaries 40 percent lower than those of their male counterparts, a report by a local NGO revealed.

The report by the charity Oxfam Hong Kong released on Wednesday found the situation has worsened over the past 14 years, as the percentage of women in the population suffering from poverty grew from 51.2 percent in 2001 to 53.7 percent in 2015.

While the monthly salaries of women living in poverty have increased by 34 percent from HK$5,000 to HK$6,700 since 2001, the salary difference between females and males living in poverty has also widened from 33 percent to about 40 percent over the period.

The Oxfam report also noted that the monthly salaries of men living in poverty climbed by 46.7 percent between 2001 and 2015.

Oxfam’s Hong Kong Programme Manager Wong Shek-hung said that females living in poverty usually work in low-paid part-time jobs and that their salaries grow more slowly than men's.

The NGO urged society and the government to put more effort into protecting females living in poverty, including reviewing its minimum wage policy and strengthening labor rights in the Employment Ordinance.

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