The Partnership for Development Center (PDC) calls on the authorities to take definite measures for women in Moldova to stop being discriminated owing to the pay gap. Representatives of the PDC said it is not right for the women to have a salary lower than that of the men even if they do work that requires the same qualifications, the same professional training, the same physical effort, work conditions and similar responsibilities.
Alina Andronache, specialist in advocacy and communication at the PDC, in a news conference at IPN said the salary transparency is now a very big problem. Many people do not know what the pay of their mates is, cannot ask for equal remuneration conditions and cannot fight discrimination. “We remind the authorities that we have a discrimination phenomenon and the women suffer most often because of this,” stated Alina Andronache.
Natalia Covrig, public policy analyst at the PDC, said the pay gap is widening. It seems that the gap is not so wide in percentage points, but when the sum is converted into lei it is rather large. These discrepancies are expected to be much wider in the highest paying sectors, such as information technology and finance. The phenomenon of paying salaries in envelopes is widespread in Moldova. When the average pay gap is calculated, it is very hard to determine how broad the phenomenon of discrimination is.
The men’s salary is by 25% higher than the women’s salary and only 8% of this disparity is due to objective factors. “We can intuit that we speak about discriminatory practices at the level of institutions. There are discriminatory policies inside the institution or in the sector,” stated Natalia Covrig.
Expert in equality and discrimination fighting Andrei Brighidin, development director at East Europe Foundation, said that even if the Republic of Moldova signed the Association Agreement with the EU and is obliged to adjust the national legislation to the EU directives, it did practically nothing to narrow the pay gap. “The notion of work of equal value should be introduced. We have the definition of equal work and this does not cover the whole range of possible situations,” stated Andrei Brighidin.
He also said that the authorities should amend the legislation so as to empower the Council for Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination and Ensuring the Equality to carry out investigations, to regularly collect information from companies about their performance in terms of equal pays for equal work and work of equal value so as to eliminate the inequities.
According to the Partnership for Development Center, the pay gap in Moldova in 2019 was 14.4%, marking the biggest annual financial loss for women during the last six years, of over 14,000 lei. A woman had to work for 36 days more since the start of the year to reach the pay of a man last year. The gender gap in old-age pensions was also significant last year – of 21.6% to the detriment of women, up 4 percentage points on 2019.