In Serbia more than 40% of women are excluded from the labour market

Women are much more disadvantaged than men in employment and as many as 40% of them are excluded from the labour market, which is a much higher percentage than in the European Union – says Svetlana Cerovic, a member of the association Žene na Prekretnici.

At a conference organized on the occasion of the publication of the document “Zatvaranje kruga: položaj žena na tržištu rada na početku i kraju karijere” (“Full Circle – the position of women in the labour market at the beginning and at the end of their careers”), Cerovic stated that the publication contains comparative analyses on the labour market position of women and men aged 45 and over.

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“When they reach the end of their professional career, the circle closes and women find themselves at the beginning again, without the desired success. Women of this age are fighting for their existence and their future,” Cerovic said.

The author of the publication and the director of the SeConS programme, Marija Babovic, said that “at the end of their career women are the first to be affected by redundancies, restructuring, new technologies and the like.

“A significant number of women have not exercised their pension rights because they have lost their jobs. If we want to help women of this age, we must intervene with young female workers so that they do not risk slipping out of the labour market,” she added.

The publication showed that 260,000 women between the ages of 45 and 64 are not entitled to a pension and 14.6% have given up looking for work because of previous failed attempts. Babovic also said that “60% of young women who are inactive due to family reasons or childcare said they would start working if they found a suitable job.

“We see difficulties in the labour market for young women; if they are already employed, their jobs are at risk when they start a family and when they become mothers, and this is something is strongly discriminatory against them”, said Babovic.

Tatjana Prijic from the Office of the Commissioner for Equality said that “women in the labour market are more exposed to bullying and specific types of discrimination”.

“Very often during job interviews, there are questions related to marriage and having a family. Women are denied promotion because they have taken sick leave and for this reason, some are even dismissed from work,” said Prijic.

She said that “the law on the maximum number of civil servants is affecting women more, because it prevents employment in sectors where women are most represented, such as education, social and health care and administration”.

“Traditional divisions of roles are a problem and also stereotypes that both employers and workers perpetuate. What we need to do is to highlight this negative practice in order to improve the position of women in the labour market”, concluded Tatjana Prijic.

(, 20.11.2019)



This post is also available in: Italiano

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