In Brazil, women stay in school longer and are financially responsible for an increasing number of homes. Nevertheless, Brazilian research institutes show that they still hold fewer positions then men and that, even when they perform the same jobs, they earn less.
Women have gained more space, but they have still been unable to overcome salary and job inequalities.
According to a survey conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses (Ibase), based on the annual social balance sheets published by 253 large and medium-sized companies throughout the country between 2000 and 2003, the percentage of women in executive positions remained practically unaltered, at 14%.
According to a study by the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socio-Economic Studies (Dieese), in the background of women’s insertion in the job market there exists “besides the new values of equality between the sexes, the need to raise family income, since workers have been losing purchasing power over the years.”
According to the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), the total number of female employees rose 4% in 2003, compared with 2002, from 37.6% to 41.6%.
Nevertheless, the female unemployment rate reached 9.7%, more than in 2002, in consequence of the increase in the number of women looking for jobs (12.3%), 4% more than the corresponding figure for men.
According to the IBGE, the average level of schooling is higher among women than among men. In 2003, approximately 55% of the women in the labor market had at least completed fundamental education, whereas 55% of male employees had not been able to attain this level.
Women’s favored position in terms of levels of schooling is not reflected in the salaries they receive. According to Lia Abramo, International Labor Organization (ILO) regional specialist in questions of gender, women earn 30% less than men. The IBGE confirms that women receive lower salaries at all levels of schooling.
Although they earn less, women are already responsible for sustaining 30% of Brazilian homes, according to the IBGE’s Synthesis of Social Indicators, 2004.
Translation: David Silberstein