Equal pay is no longer just an issue of fairness but one of vital importance for local economies, general union GMB said yesterday.
The union said that in 210 out of 374 local authority areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland women workers were in the majority, according to the 2011 census.
Of the 21.5 million total full and part-time employees in England and Wales 10.74m were men and 10.72m women, it added.
Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of women in employment of any region at 52 per cent, followed by Wales, the North West, North East, South West and the South East regions.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said: "These figures show that for workers resident in most areas in England, Wales and Northern Ireland there are more women in employment than there are men in employment.
"That means that equal pay for women is not just an issue of fairness but is something that directly impacts on the economic prosperity of many areas.
"Politicians should no longer think of men as the breadwinner. They should consider the impact on women's wage packets and their experiences at work when they propose changes to employment policies.
"Employers need to acknowledge the fundamental importance of flexible working and family friendly policies as women still continue to take on the burden of domestic work and child-care."