2023 Shortlist

“The Wage Gap Cannot Be Bridged” .. Women Face Wage Discrimination In Both The Public And Private Sectors

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Egypt

Publishing organisation: sharikawalaken

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-12-19

Language: Arabic and English

Authors: Menna abdel Razek


An Egyptian investigative and data reporter with more than eight years of experience. Has worked on multimedia stories and data-driven investigations, covered political, human rights, and economic issues across the MENA region and North Africa, and has experience in Data (scrapping, cleaning, analysis, and visualizations), video production, and creative writing, awarded the excellence award from Egyptian syndicate for journalists

Project description:

The investigation relies on analyzing wage bulletin data issued by the Egyptian Statistical Center, during the last five years, to prove the gap in wages between women and men in the public and private sectors in various professions, in violation of Egyptian law.
The data showed that, the wage gap did not narrow, but rather increased.
According to data analysis, this disparity is equivalent to a 28% difference in income between men and women in the public and private sectors.
in light of the absence of any role from the workforce, and the Manpower Committee in the House of Representatives.

Impact reached:

When he spoke with the National Wages Council in Egypt, the official told me that this is the first time he has heard about this problem and that they have not discussed this issue before, so I am one of the first to talk about this issue in a data-driven investigation.
I also spoke to the head of the Parliament’s Manpower Committee, Adel Abdel-Fadil, and they are now in the process of finalizing the new labor law, and he said that he had never heard of this problem and they did not discuss it in the House of Representatives, and after publishing the investigation, he told me that he would discuss this issue in the House of Representatives, and during the discussion of the law new work.
She also sent the investigation to the head of the National Council for Women and officials in the workforce and civil society to discuss this topic in the new law.

Techniques/technologies used:

First we used PDF scraping tools like Tabula and Python.
We also used Excel to clean and analyze the data, and Fluorish and DataRubber were used to represent the data.
And I used audicity to lead the podcast.
We used Photoshop for graphics, and Adobe Premiere for video editing.

Context about the project:

First, everyone knows that Egypt and the Middle East have become an unsafe environment for the work of journalists, especially investigative reports. It is enough for you to criticize any responsible party to refrain from dealing with you again, in addition to the difficulties in dealing with official sources and their fear of talking to journalists so that they do not lose their jobs, too. Dealing with cases of women, especially those working in government agencies, so we had to hide their identities so that they would not be subject to prosecution. One of the officials asked me for the information of the employee who spoke to me and works in the Tax Authority, and I refused and told him that you do not have the right to pursue women who suffer from discrimination in wages. So instead of resolving the crisis, you pursue them and dismiss them from their work?

Officials also deny that there is discrimination in wages between the sexes, even the Ministry of Manpower, although the ministry has established a unit to combat gender discrimination!
Also, the difficulties that journalists face in developing their work and skills, as there is very little material in the Arabic language, so I hope that we will be given more training and resources to hone our skills in data journalism.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

We can use open source and official data to create a data-driven investigation that condemns the very entity that issues the data.
We used labor force data to confront the Ministry of Manpower itself with wage discrimination between men and women.
Data journalism can also be used to support gender and marginalized groups. Officials often tell us that these cases in our investigations are an individual case, but with data over several years we can prove that the problem is not an individual case and many women suffer from it in all Egyptian governorates. over different years, and that the wage gap increases rather than decreases with the passage of years.

Project links: