Czech women are more threatened by poverty than men
Published on Tue, 2017-03-07 17:43
Czech women are two times more likely to fall into poverty than men. This gap is particularly pronounced among the elderly and single-parent families, notes the Czech branch of the Social Watch network in its report published on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
In the Czech Republic, women are responsible for 87 per cent of single-parent families, with an estimated total number of 180,000. Nearly 20% of these families with one parent are at risk of poverty. Mothers without a spouse often have low incomes and are twice as likely to be unemployed than the national average.
This phenomenon is evident throughout Europe and is equally worrying in the Czech Republic, where inequalities in the salaries of men and women are one of the most striking at European level: Czech women are two times more likely to fall into poverty than men. This gap is particularly pronounced among the elderly and single-parent families, as noted by the Czech branch of Social Watch platform in its report published on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
In the Czech Republic, women are responsible for 87 per cent of single-parent families, with an estimated total number of 180,000. Nearly 20% of these families with one parent are at risk of poverty. According to statistics, mothers without a spouse often have low incomes and are twice as likely to be unemployed than the national average. At the same time, a higher number of these women (58%) carry out a professional activity than women in couples (49%). Eliška Kodyšová is a psychologist and director of Aperio, an NGO that supports families, especially mothers in difficulty:
"Mothers without a spouse often rely on low-paying jobs: casual labor, temporary jobs, part-time work. Many of them work as waitresses, cashiers in supermarkets or nursing aides. Their goal is to do both tasks in the best possible manner: caring for their children and paying for the expenses of the home. What is frustrating is that they still spend most of their time at work, without making a good living and knowing that they are necessarily neglecting their children.”
Non-graduate mothers of single-parent families who frequently turn to Aperio are confronted with an increased risk of poverty. Eliška Kodyšová :
"The Czech system of social allowances is not really effective in such situations. Almost half of single mothers who receive social benefits are at risk of poverty. The only solution to this problem is to seek assistance, to try to evolve professionally and personally and find a good job.”
Good employment, however, is not always synonymous with adequate pay, at least for women: in the Czech Republic, women continue to earn 22.5% less on average than their male colleagues. These wage inequalities obviously extend during retirement, as explains Markéta Mottlová of the NGO Forum 50%, a member of the Social Watch platform:
"Retired women receive pensions one fifth lower than men's pensions. This disparity is due to the lower wages of women and the fact that these women spend part of their working lives on unpaid work: they care for children and often elderly and sick members of their families. Therefore, part-time work that allows women to better harmonize their working and family life should only be a temporary solution. Again, women working part time earn less and they will be disadvantaged in retirement.”
Retired women over the age of 65 constitute a particularly vulnerable group in terms of the risk of poverty. Currently, 20% of Czech women in this age group are at risk of poverty compared with 9% of men, while a study by the Gender Studies organization in 2013 reported that 15% of retired women are isolated and deprived against 7% of elderly men in a precarious situation.
Finally, Social Watch also alerts on the problem of violence against women. According to its report, nearly one-third of women over the age of 18 have been victims of domestic violence. In the Czech Republic, this corresponds to a population of 1.2 million women.
The report is available here.
Source: Radio Praha.