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EQUAL PAY voices of youth

Being a woman is not easy, especially in Caucasus region, where men have more privileges than women. Everything starts from the very beginning. When a boy is born, people congratulate the parents, but when a girl is born, instead of congratulations parents would hear "May she be healthy". Inequality continues over the lifetime, so women can face discrimination everywhere, especially at the workplaces. They have to struggle for their salary, for getting as equal money as their masculine colleagues doing the same job. Sometimes they have to work even without being paid. So gender pay gap still remains one of the ongoing problems in 21th century.

Equal pay means that men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay, as set out in the Equality Act 2010

The problem of gender pay gap was activated more than 60 years ago, when pay act dedicated to abolishing wage disparity based on sex was signed in The United States labor law. Later other countries also adapted this act, including Georgia.

Why does gender pay gap exist?

According to European commission, the causes of the gender pay gap in Europe can be grouped into the following types, which are usually interrelated:

  • The undervaluing of women's work
  • Traditions and stereotypes
  • Segregation in the labor market
  • Wage structure/composition of pay
  • Reconciliation of work or private life

Experts about Gender Pay Gap

Women’s right protector Baia Pataraia thinks that Knowledge on gender pay gap is lacking, because the topic is still new. Pataraia says problem related to pay gap doesn’t have one perfect solution, as it is formed based on many aspects in Georgia, but according to Pataraia, the basic legal regulations that directly outlaw gender pay gap, doesn’t exist, therefore, changes should probably start with legislation. She admits that most people do not believe that there is unequal pay for equal work or direct wage discrimination.

“People think that men just have better and highly paid jobs,” Pataraia said.

Nani Bandeliani, Program Analyst from UN Women Georgian Office, highlighted the importance of understanding why gender pay gap exists. According to her, UN advocates for implementing policies that can reduce gender inequality and for recognizing reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work.

The counter of Budget Indicator of Georgia published statistics about Gender pay gap by showing the differences between men and women's monthly salaries

Source: The counter of Budget Indicator of Georgia

To evaluate the gender inequality in Georgia, in terms of equal pay for equal work, UN women published a special report “Analysis of the Gender Pay Gap and Gender Inequality in the Labour Market in Georgia”, that based its calculations on the labour force survey carried out by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in 2017. It used more precise indicators and concluded that the employed women earned less than the employed men for each hour of work. Moreover, according to the report, women earned less, besides they acquired better education and had better work experience than men.

The report also recommends the legislative changes and discusses mechanisms for effective enforcement. It says formulation of definitions of minimum wage, pay transparency, and remuneration is important. According to the report, The Labour Code of Georgia doesn’t introduce the definition of “minimum wage”. Report recommends that the Government, should set “minimum wage” rates at levels that are appropriate to national circumstances, taking into account the needs of workers and their families and economic factors, including the current level of economic development.

The minimum wage system was introduced in Georgia in 1999, when presidential decree No. 351 set the minimum wage to GEL 20. Despite the fact that Article 5 of the decree specifies the provision to possibly adjust wages according to the socioeconomic development of the country, there have been no reforms or fundamental changes to the minimum wage system of Georgia.

According to International Labour Organization, minimum wages have been defined as “the minimum amount of remuneration that an employer is required to pay wage earners for the work performed during a given period, which cannot be reduced by collective agreement or an individual contract.

YOUNG VOICES FROM TBILISI AND THE REGIONS

Natalia & Giorgi from Tbilisi

Natalia Tarkhan-Mouravi, 23 lives in Tbilisi and works as a content manager at the advertising company. She understands that gender pay gap is a huge problem, but she also thinks that women don’t have to shut their eyes on it. They have to complain and strive to fix it. Natalia is familiar with this problem, because she has noticed how the clients are more confident and trustier with boys at the workplace. “The problem is real and it was always present,” she says.

Her colleague Giorgi says that gender pay gap is a global problem and need to be fixed. It is important to make rules and behave in a way that is fair to everyone.

Gogi & Nata from Svaneti

Mountain guides Gogi Chartolani and Nata Japaridzeare both fromMestia, Svaneti. They are busy with taking tourists up in the mountains during the Summer and Winter.

During the working season ]they both earn approximately 700-870 GEL(220-270USD) per day. Both are being paid equally. Nata Japaridzedoesn’t feel any discomfort while working and when communicating with the heads of Guide office or with her colleagues. She thinks girls have a power and they should manifest it. She said in the beginningboys tried to help her to carry heavy things, but then she proved that she can do it by herself, therefore, no one is offering a help anymore.

“I’m lucky, because everyone is equal here, in the mountains,” Japaridze says.

Ani & Giorgi from Kakheti

Ani and Giorgi are winemakers from Kakheti. They live and work in Telavi region. 24 year-old Ani doesn’t have a farm or any resources to build her own vineyard on her family land. “I was always confused, why was being a farmer or a sommelier a man’s job?” She is still searching the answer for this question. Today she is working in a small vineyard, learning many things about producing wine and working in that field. Her monthly salary is 300 GEL or 95 USD. Ani’s colleague 26 year-old Giorgi thinks that the problem doesn’t exist, he believes, “Men should earn much more money than women.”

Project by Ani Torosyan, Kato Sharadzenidze, Vugar Bakhshalizade, Vusal Nabiyev

Views expressed in this multimedia product do not necessarily represent the views of UN Women or its donors. This material was produced in the framework of the project ‘ Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus’ with the financial support of the governments of Switzerland and Austria.