Discrimination is main factor of pay gap in Moldova, CPD

The difference between the average salary of women and that of men remains at a fairly high value, representing a monetary disparity where the women last year obtained annual earnings that were by 25,980 lei lower than the men’s incomes. This worrying trend is particularly observed in the areas of health and leisure activities, along with the administrative support services sector, contributing greatly to this discrepancy. More alarming is the fact that in sectors with higher salaries, the pay gap to the detriment of women is even more pronounced, exceeding 30% in such areas as publishing services, air transport and IT. The data were presented on the occasion of the Equal Pay Day that is celebrated in Moldova today, IPN reports.

This symbolic day is marked annually by the Center “Partnership for Development” (CPD) based on official data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the earnings of women compared to those of men. In 2024, a woman in Moldova must work until February 23 to obtain an income equivalent to that obtained by a man the previous year.

The widening gender pay gap in Moldova is a wake-up call that requires immediate attention and action, while the substantial monetary disparity not only affects women’s financial well-being, but also reflects deep structural inequalities in the economy and society. Also, the gender gap in pensions continues to be a major problem, with an average difference of 7,518 lei between women’s and men’s pensions in 2023. In Chisinau, the situation is even worse, with a retired woman losing 20,091 lei annually compared to men, according to CPD.

In order to better understand why there are differences in earnings between women and men in the Republic of Moldova, CPD experts made an econometric analysis. Two types of NBS data were used: Labor Force Survey (completed by individuals, especially employees) and M3-Annual “Earnings and labor costs” (completed by employers). Data from employers shows that the gender pay gap was 15.5% in 2022, while data collected from employees shows a difference of 12%. Even though these percentages are different, both indicate that the gap increased compared to the previous year.

The analysis revealed that much of this difference is influenced by discrimination in the workplace. “For example, if we take a difference of 12%, it is reduced by 5% due to the fact that women are, on average, better educated or more qualified than men, which should also reduce their pay gap. However, discriminatory treatment in favor of men (14.2%) negates this advantage, causing women to earn less even when they have the same qualifications, work the same hours and are the same age as men. Moreover, 2.8% of the difference in earnings is explained by the interaction between qualification level and discrimination – for example, women work fewer hours than men, but their working hours are paid less,” explained the CPD experts.

Despite this, there is a feeling of optimism about the future. “Moldova has made progress in amending the legislative framework to promote gender equality in the field of work. The expectations are that in the coming years this pay gap will decrease as, in order to have an impact, all the adopted policies necessitate time,” said the CPD representatives.

The Equal Pay Day is a call for action to the government, employers and civil society to work together to overcome the gender pay gap. The Center “Partnership for Development” said that it is essential to promote pay transparency, encourage fair employment practices and support women’s professional development so as to build a more just and equal society.

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