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Schooling Is Not Helping Women Narrow Gap With Men in Brazil

The Synthesis of Social Indicators, 2004, released February 23 in Rio de Janeiro by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), revealed that women’s average schooling is already more than men’s (7.0 years versus 6.8).

This result may be explained by the fact that boys abandon school sooner to enter the job market and that socioeconomic changes in recent years have led women to compete on the market and assume greater family responsibilities, such as breadwinning.


According to the study, in 2003 approximately 55% of the women on the labor market had at least finished fundamental education, whereas 55% of the men with jobs had not concluded this stage.


The highest education level was in the Federal District, where women had at least 10 years of schooling.


The positive aspect of years of schooling is not reflected, however, in the salaries paid by employers, since men are still favored. According to the IBGE, women receive lower salaries at all levels of schooling.


In 2003, the average monthly salary of men with up to three years of education was US$ 132.03 (R$ 343.30), as against US$ 81.15 (R$ 211.00) for women with the same educational level.


For men with between 8 and 10 years of schooling, the average salary was US$ 242.96 (R$ 631.70), as against US$ 134.84 (R$ 350.60) for women with the same educational preparation.


For those with 11 years or more of education, the study shows that the relationship between men’s and women’s salaries remains unchanged, with women receiving 58.6% of what men with the same amount of schooling receive.


Translation: David Silberstein
Agência Brasil

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