In Serbia, women’s wages are lower than men’s even in professions where women make up the majority of the workforce, such as in the health care and welfare system. The wage gap between women and men is 8.8% in favour of men, which means that a woman would have to work 35 days longer to earn the same annual salary as a man.
Although data from the latest publication of the State Statistics Bureau titled “Women and Men in Serbia 2020” show that women constitute the most educated part of the population (as many as 60% of graduates in the 2019/2020 academic year were women), the figures say that only 971,000 women and as many as 1,333,000 men have jobs.
In terms of employment, the biggest gender gap in the labour market was between the ages of 55 and 64: the figures show that only 40% of women and as many as 61% of men of that age have a job contract.
Data from the European Institute for Gender Equality also warn of this, showing that the employment rate of women over 45 in Serbia is almost the lowest in Europe. Close to half a million women over the age of 45 do not have a job or an income to live on, and only Greece and Malta have a lower number of employed women in that age group.
It is paradoxical that women’s salaries are lower even in professions where they constitute the majority of the workforce. Data from the Serbian Ministry of Health show that out of 130,000 employees in the health sector, as many as 100,000 are women, and data from the Ministry of Labour show that women constitute 95% of employees in the social welfare system. The publication “Women and Men in Serbia 2020” shows that women employed in health and social protection receive 85% of the salaries of men.
Despite the fact that women make up 75% of employees in education system, the salaries of female teachers are 13% lower than those of their colleagues. Even women employed in the state administration receive only 84% of the salaries of their male colleagues, women in commerce have 13% lower salaries than men, women’s salaries in manufacturing are 10% lower than men’s and even female artists are paid 7% less.
As expected, the biggest pay gap is in the financial and insurance sectors, where women have salaries up to 21% lower than their male colleagues. The fact that only 1/3 of women serve as executives, directors and legislators also illustrates gender inequality.
And when they retire, women are at a disadvantage because their old-age and disability pensions are lower than those of men. Exceptions to this rule are family pension recipients, who receive their deceased husband’s income.
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