Friday, 24 November 2017

Study: Female university graduates earn much less than men

ČTK |
2 November 2017

Prague, Nov 1 (CTK) - Women with university education have 29-percent lower salaries on average than their male colleagues, which means some 15,000 crowns less monthly, in the Czech Republic, shows a study, ordered by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, that its authors presented on Wednesday.

The gender pay gap has been rising with rising education in the Czech Republic, according to the study, released on the occasion of the approaching European Equal Pay Day on November 3.

The Czech Republic has the second highest total difference in the average earnings of men and women (22 percent) in the EU.

"If this problem is not being solved in politics and the public sector, we cannot expect the private sector to do so on its own," outgoing Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD) said.

She pointed out that not only women pay dearly for lower wages, but also their families, mainly their children.

Besides, the gender pay gap causes lower pensions of women and their threatening with poverty in retirement.

Women with elementary education earn 17 percent (3405 crowns) less than men monthly on average, while female secondary school graduates earn 21 percent (6371 crowns) less than men. The biggest gap is in the category of university graduates where women's monthly salaries are 29 percent (15,000 crowns) lower than men's.

More women than men have graduated from Czech universities in the past few years.

In 2015, one-quarter of women and 16 percent of men had BA degree, while 21 percent of men and 19 percent of women had MA or higher university degrees in the Czech Republic.

"Out of the 189 monitored subgroups of professions, women have higher average salaries than men in ten only. However, the differences are slight, from several crowns to a few hundreds of crowns," Kristyna Pospisilova, one of the study authors, said.

The rooted ideas of a man as a breadwinner and a woman looking after the household and children that are hard to overcome in the Czech Republic also play into the hands of differences in the remuneration, the authors point out.

Other negative factors contributing to the gender pay gap are women's lower employment rate, long maternity leave and low parental benefits that do not motivate fathers to participate in childcare, and the lack of nurseries, Krizkova said.

The lack of transparency in remuneration is another problem. Salaries are not being talked about openly in firms and their employees have often no idea how much their colleagues are earning.

Due to the gender pay gap, the Czech Republic is "in the position of an undeveloped country with the tendency not to solve the differences and deepen them" and the effort to remove them meets with "extreme resistance of the political and social system" to changes, sociologist Marie Cermakova said.

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