The difference between the pensions of women and men in Moldova is over 17%. In addition, women receive wages that are on average by 12% lower than those of men. Data from this study were presented by Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD) and the Platform for Gender Equality (PEG). At a press conference , PEG Vice president, Ms Alina Andronache said that women should work more than one and a half months longer than men to get the same annual salary.
According to the study, the difference between pensions of women and men has increased in recent years. In 2011 women received 12% lower pensions than men, while in 2014 the gap reached 17%. Moreover, the income gap in pensions and wages makes women more dependent on social benefits.
On 19 February members of the Platform for Gender Equality mark the Equal Pay Day. According to them, on this particular day a woman from Moldova reaches a man’s annual salary for the previous year. Alina Andronache said that most women are employed in lower paid sectors or in functions inferior to men. “Women usually take vacations more often than men and for longer periods, such as maternity leave. When women are trying to reintegrate into the workforce, these years are considered as a loss in professional skills,” said Ms Andronache.
According to the authors of the study, the wage gap is like an invisible tax paid by 93% of employed women. Thus, in 2014, women received, on average, over 7,000 MDL less than men. “If you look at certain areas, for example publishing, the wage gap is 57%, thus in this sector women lose 57,000 MDL annually. The gap in the IT sector are 37%, thus women lose 45,000 MDL per year,” said Mr Alexei Buzu, CPD President.
The study finds that wage gaps can be explained by factors related to indirect discrimination on the labor market and discrimination in the workplace. The study shows that women accept to be employed in lower paid sectors on more inferior positions than men. Furthermore, women interrupt their employment more frequently and for longer periods. Simultaneously, the wage gap may be caused by direct discrimination by the employer, paying women less and reducing their opportunities for promotion.
CPD Project Coordinator, Ms Rodica Ivaşcu, mentioned that in Moldova there are two documents aiming to reduce the wage gaps: the National Strategy for Employment and Labour, and the National Programme for Gender Equality. “To eliminate discrimination in the labor market, we must improve access to childcare, because it will allow women to commit much easier to work. Maternity leave should be shorter and better paid. The principle of equal payments for equal work must be defined in the Moldovan legislation,” said Ms Ivaşcu.
However, the authors of the study recommend that the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring Equality is empowered by law to conduct investigations related to discrimination and wage gaps.