"However, some differences are simply down to demographics and will be harder to change. An example is female longevity which goes some way to explain why more women than men own their own homes, and also why men tend to have higher retirement incomes."
Pay and Jobs
Pay: Gap continues to narrow but inequality remains
The gap between men and women's earnings has narrowed over the past decade as women's earnings have risen faster than men's. Women's earnings for full-time employees have increased by 37%, on average, in the last ten years compared with a 30% rise for men, reducing the premium for male earnings from 40% in 2002 (£27,829 against £19,911).
Women's earnings have fared better during the financial and economic downturn, rising by an average of 13% between 2007 and 2012 compared with a 7% increase for men.
Nevertheless, men in full-time employment continue to be paid significantly more than women in full-time employment. In 2012, average male earnings were £36,156; 32% higher than average female earnings of £27,291.
Employment trends: Economic environment hits women harder
Both men and women have been badly affected during the current economic downturn, but unemployment has affected women particularly badly. The number of women claiming unemployment benefits has more than doubled over the past five years, rising by 144%, more than double the 71% increase in the number of men on the unemployment claimant count.
Male unemployment has fallen by 14% over the past three years while female unemployment has risen by 22%.
The headline figures show participation in the labour market remains skewed in favour of men:
- Men are more likely to be in employment than women - 64% against 54%
- Men are more likely to be in full-time employment than women - 57% against 33%
- Women are three times more likely than men to be in part-time employment - 21% against 7%
- Men are twice as likely to be self-employed than women -10% against 5%