Brazil: Women continue to work more and earn less than men

Women's income is equivalent to 76% of men's, despite working five

Published in 02/12/2016 - 14:57 By Isabela Vieira reports from Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro


In total, women work 55.1 hours a week, and men, 50.5 hours.

Brazil's economic growth in the last decade has not led to more equality in the labor market. With or without crisis, Brazilian women continue to work more—five hours on average—and earn less.

Women's income is equivalent to 76% of men's and women continue to have fewer opportunities to hold leadership or management positions. The double burden also imposes constraints on many women to get into labor market even so they are responsible for the livelihood of four out of ten households.

These findings were published by the Synthesis of Social Indicators—an analysis of the living conditions of the Brazilian population, released today (Dec. 2), in Rio de Janeiro, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). The survey examined the indicators from 2005 to 2015.

Women tend to earn less than men because they usually work less on their paid job—on average six hours per week. However, as women spend twice as much time as men do on household chores, women work, in total, five hours more than men do. In total, women work 55.1 hours a week, and men, 50.5 hours.

According to IBGE researcher Cristiane Soares, men continue to fail to pull their weight when it comes to household chores, which affects their working hours. "In a decade, men continue to work on household chores only for 10 hours a week," she pointed out.

Pay gap

Even working longer hours, women get paid lower—76% of what men earn. That figure used to be 71% in 2005, and reflects both the wage gap between genders and the fact that women are much less often the choice for management and leadership roles. Among men above 25 years old, 6.2% were in these positions, against 4.7% of women the same age. And even in these positions, doing the same thing, women earned only 68% as much as men.

Despite that, the survey showed the number of women who are heads of household is increasing. Considering all household arrangements, they are the reference person of 40% of households. Among those arranged by couples with children, one in four households is supported by women. The percentage of men living with only children is minimal.

Neither working nor studying

In keeping with the global trend, young women aged between 15 and 29 are also at a disadvantage compared to men at the same age. In Brazil, many of them give up their education and work to take care of the house. Among the total number of women, 21.1% are not currenty in employment nor education or training, as against 7.8% of men in the same age group.

Over the decade, little has changed in the situation of the so-called “NEET” group. In 2005, 20.2% of women and 5.4% of men were in this situation. According to the survey, the most likely hypothesis is, these young women are taking care of children or the home. On average, 91.6% of them report they devote 26.3 hours a week to housekeeping chores. By contrast, 26.3% of men in the “NEET” group who say they take care of the home devote 10.3 hours a week to housekeeping.

Luana Botelho, IBGE's expert on the topic, pointed out the situation has not changed over the decade, not even when the country's economic situation was more favorable in 2005. “If we look at the time series, we'll find that the situation hasn't changed with the economy. Through higher or lower overall employment levels, these women have remained in the 'NEET' group,” she said. In her opinion, more specific measures are needed to enable young women to reduce the amount of time they spend on housework and go back to the job market.

In total, about 70% of Brazilian women are out of the job market. Most are 50 or older and have had no education or only completed elementary school.

*With additional reporting for radio by Tâmara Freire

Translated by Amarílis Anchieta / Mayra Borges

Fonte: Brazil: Women continue to work more and earn less than men

Edition: Lidia Neves / Nira Foster

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