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Seda Hergnyan

Armenia: Men Paid 28.4% More Per Hour Than Women

In Armenia, the average male earns 28.4% more per hour than a woman according to a joint conducted by the country’s Statistical Committee and the UN Women organization.

This is the gender pay gap, which shows the difference between the average hourly wages of men and women, taking into account their different achievements, mainly education, as well as other job-related characteristics.

According to the results of the research, the spheres of mining, electricity, gas construction, transportation, public administration are considered more suited for men, while women are more often employed in education, health care and social security administration. Women are less likely to be found in management positions. Women, however, predominate among highly qualified professionals as well as office workers.

This study was conducted to calculate the gender-adjusted pay gap in Armenia to identify women's economic inequality in the labor market. It is based on the results of the Labor Force Survey conducted in 2018 by the Labor Committee and included 18,553 people of working age (15-64 years), of which 8,388 were wage earners.

Why the hourly wage calculation is more relevant than the monthly wage one

The hourly wage more accurately represents the true essence of the salary. Suppose a man receives a monthly salary of 200,000 drams and a woman receives a salary of 150,000 drams. It turns out that a woman is paid 25% less per month than a man.

However, when this calculation is made on an hourly basis, not monthly, we can find that a woman works a few hours less per day than a man (as found in this study). Here the other reasons for a woman's lower salary are analyzed: is it due to the lower quality of education, is marital status a hindrance, and so on.

For comparison, if we consider the difference between the average monthly salary of a man and a woman, men are paid almost half as much more.

Women work less than men

In Armenia, men and women work different number of hours, which is one of the reasons for the gender difference in monthly salaries. Women work fewer hours, which has to do with time spent on unpaid household chores. Moreover, this disparity exists in different age, professional and economic status groups.

The average Armenian man works 45.2 hours a week, while a woman works 39.1 hours.  

According to the research, women's family responsibilities also affect this circumstance. Women spend more time caring for sick, elderly, or disabled family members than children. This difference becomes more pronounced in the case of household chores.

In the case of married couples, there are fewer cases of maternal employment, especially at a young, reproductive age, and, consequently, a larger gender employment gap.

The authors of the study concluded that all this is evidence of gender discrimination.

50.8% of men of working age are employed, 39.3% of women

The employment rate of the population aged 15-64 in Armenia (working age according to EU standards) is 44.8 %.

It is noticeable that the employment rate is lower among women (39.3%) than among men (50.8%).

The employment rate is lowest among young people (15-24 years old). The share of the self-employed is quite high in Armenia, although there is a large gender gap in the field of self-employment in favor of men. The picture is the opposite for unpaid family members, although their share is small. Wage earners make up about two-thirds of the employed, mostly women.

Unemployed women are more educated than men

The researchers also tried to find out what level of education the unemployed have. It turned out that unemployed women are more educated than men.

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