The greatest gift to women on this International Women’s Day would be equality in labor market opportunities, according to Solange Sanchez, coordinator of the Gender, Race, Poverty, and Employment Program of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Brazil.
“The world is becoming aware of the inequalities between men and women, and Brazil has a lot to commemorate. Nevertheless, despite so many advances, we still need to improve,” she declared.
She explains that the most troublesome factors are the unemployment rate, still much higher among women than among men, and women’s remuneration on the market.
“Women in Brazil today already have a higher average level of schooling than men. Nevertheless, the educational level of women, especially black women, is not equally valued by employers.”
According to the coordinator, among professionals with university degrees, women receive around 60% of what men are paid.
According to Sanchez, there also exists the myth that women, due to maternity and other benefits, are more expensive to employ.
To verify the extent to which this contention is correct, the ILO conducted a study in various Latin American countries and concluded that in Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Uruguay, and Brazil, as well, the additional financial costs related to hiring women amount to less than 2% of their salaries.
“All our activities seek to involve the government, workers, and employers, to establish a productive dialogue among them.”
Sanchez also points out that society should become familiar with statistical realities in order for the debate to be conducted in a more productive manner.
During today’s International Women’s Day, the ILO is participating in a series of events scheduled by the Brazilian government and sectors of society.
Translation: David Silberstein