Albert Fruzsina – Bartha Attila: Gender inequality in the workplace The present study is a background paper of the ‘Gender Equality in the Workplace’ thematic bloc in the ‘Genderwise: the role of men as agents of change in reconciling work and family life’ project. The first part of the paper is a cross-country analysis of available statistics regarding the world of work in the EU. In the following, we use the case of Hungary to present the main challenges (Part 2) and we give an overview of the policy responses applied (Part 3). 1. Main indicators of gender inequality in the world of work in the European Union In this chapter we present the basic indicators of gender inequality in the world of work. Comparable datasets are available regarding unemployment rates, employment rates, the ratio of part-time employment (as a % of total employment), the share of female managers in total managers and the gender pay gap. In the presentation we use the most recent available data coming from national resources (but checked by Eurostat). 1.1. Unemployment in the EU25 In general, unemployment rate of women in the European Union (EU-25 countries) is 2%points higher than the unemployment rate of men (9.6% against 7.6%). However, there are marked inter-country differences: in 4 countries male unemployment rate is higher, in 1 country female and male unemployment rates are the same, while in 20 countries the female unemployment rate is higher. Possible factors explaining these differences are partly economic, partly cultural ones. A stronger role of business services and traditionally higher labour market participation of women are likely to be the two major explanatory variables. Male unemployment rate is higher in Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Latvia while female and male unemployment rates are the same in Estonia. An interesting feature: at present, these countries are among the most prosperous ones of the European Union, especially if GDP growth rate is controlled by the level of economic development. In certain countries (Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Lithuania, Cyprus) the differences between female and male unemployment rates are rather small ones. These countries are smaller open economies with strong business service sectors and/or extensive public sectors. However, culturally-geographically Cyprus seems to be an outsider: in Southern European countries female unemployment rates are typically higher, mainly due to traditionalist patriarchal family organisation and division of labour. (The fact that Cyprus was once part of the British Commonwealth, could explain its seemingly outsider position.) The next group of countries consists of 7 states. Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the main industrial countries of the present EU in which machinery sectors are especially strong. In these countries female unemployment is markedly higher than male unemployment. The collapse of the light industries (textile, footwear) and the continuing importance of machinery sectors have had different impacts on the unemployment of women and men.
The last group of countries comprises Southern European states (Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Malta) and Poland. These countries are (or at least had been) following rather traditionalist values: lower female participation and a smaller role of part-time employment are (or were) the typical consequences of these value patterns on the labour market. The period of transformation (i.e. a shift towards less traditionalist, less masculine values) seems to be especially painful for women living in these countries: female unemployment rate is much higher than the male unemployment rate. Female and male unemployment rates in the European Union (as a % of the labour force, ILO definition, February 2006) Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Greece Spain France Ireland Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Hungary Malta Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom EU25
Female 9.7 9.6 5.0 10.2 6.2 15.5 11.0 10.1 3.8 9.7 6.4 7.8 7.3 7.8 7.5 9.8 5.0 5.6 19.1 8.7 6.7 16.6 8.8 6.3 4.5 9.6
Male 7.6 6.3 3.8 8.2 6.2 6.4 6.6 8.3 4.7 6.0 4.5 8.5 6.6 3.8 5.0 6.9 4.3 4.9 15.6 6.9 6.1 15.2 7.7 6.4 5.4 7.6
The difference in female and male unemployment rates has remained stubbornly high: in February 2006 it was 2%-point compared to 2.1%-point in February 2005. The gap is narrowing significantly in Spain, Germany, Cyprus and Slovenia while it is increasing somewhat in the Czech Republic, Italy and Malta. The impacts of sectoral business cycles are evident in this respect: blossoming service activities typically favour female participation while strong machinery sector prefers male participation. 1.2. Employment in the EU25 The difference between female and male employment rates is conspicuous in the European
Union: while in Q2 2005 the employment rate of women was 56.3%, male employment rate achieved 71.2%. In addition, there is no country in the EU, in which the female employment would be higher. However, cross-country differences are remarkable also in this respect: while in Sweden both female and male employment rate is above 70% (and the difference is only 4%-points), in Malta the above-average male employment (73.5%) is coupled with an extremely low female employment rate (33.6%). Female and male employment rates in the European Union (Q2 2005) Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Greece Spain France Ireland Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Hungary Malta Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom EU25
Female 54.1 56.0 70.8 59.3 63.5 46.2 51.2 57.9 58.0 45.4 58.5 59.4 59.2 50.6 50.9 33.6 66.4 61.7 46.4 61.9 61.7 50.8 67.4 70.5 65.8 56.3
Male 67.7 73.3 80.1 71.1 66.5 74.5 75.0 69.0 76.2 70.2 79.5 66.9 66.3 72.4 63.0 73.5 79.9 75.1 58.2 73.4 70.2 64.1 71.0 74.6 77.3 71.2
Grouping the countries we can observe that cultural-social factors bear more influence on the female and male employment rates than economic ones. In 7 countries (Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia) the difference between female and male unemployment rate is relatively small (below 10 %-points). These countries are smaller, open economies in which Nordic (i.e. less traditionalist) value patterns dominate. The small difference is mainly a consequence of the high female participation. In addition, active labour market policies and/or the extensive welfare state may also promote the higher labour market inclusion of women. An interesting phenomenon however, is that the smallest employment rate difference is observable in a post-socialist country, namely in Estonia where the markedly above-average female employment (63.5%) is coupled with below-average male employment (66.5%). In other words: we can assume that the less traditionalist, Nordic value orientation of the Estonian society had a strong positive impact on the high female labour market
participation and the steady process of economic convergence (measured inter alia, in terms of GDP per capita). In 12 countries of the European Union the difference between female and male employment rate is between 10 and 20 %-point. Most of the founding members of the EU (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands), as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Austria are in this group. In addition, the four new member States of Eastern-Central Europe (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland) and, surprisingly, Portugal also registered a ‘moderate’ (i.e. around the average) difference between female and male employment. The promoted female labour market participation in state socialism might explain the position of the ECE countries, while in the case of Portugal sectoral peculiarities (the high relative importance of textile and footwear industries) and more flexible regulation may partly offset the traditionalist value orientation. In the remaining six countries of the EU the difference between female and male employment rates is higher than 20%. Not surprisingly, with the exception of Portugal Southern-European countries (Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta) are in this group; but the high difference between female and male employment in Luxembourg comes as a surprise. Nevertheless, the female employment rate in Cyprus, Luxembourg and Spain is more than 50%, and in Spain we could observe a significant improvement in the last couple of years. On the other hand, the Italian, the Greek and the Maltese female employment rate is markedly below 50%. These figures again underline the utmost importance of value patterns. Naturally not only gender differences but also total employment levels matter. In Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and Portugal(!) both female and male employment is markedly above the EU average, while in Italy, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia both are significantly below. While mainly cultural factors determine the differences between female and male employment rates, we can assume that the level of total employment (i.e. both female and male employment) are more dependent upon other factors, such as employment policy measures, labour market regulations, sectoral business cycles and human capital (education and health) factors. 1.3. Part-time employment in the EU25 Several leading sociologists and labour market analysts regard part-time employment as a means to combine household (non-paid) and ‘gainful’ (paid) work. In this approach part-time employment is especially relevant for women who have more domestic work than men. Not surprisingly, almost one-third of European women are in part-time employment (32.6%) while the share of part-time employment among male workers is only 7.1%. Cross-country differences are remarkable in this respect as well. The Netherlands is an outlier: not only because of the outstanding role of part-time employment among women (75.3%) but also due to the high relative share of male part-time employed (22.6%). Specific labour market regulation has an overwhelming role in that. In most of the older EU members (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Sweden and the United Kingdom), female part-time employment oscillates between 30-45%. In Spain, Italy and Ireland the share of part-time employed among women is roughly 25%, while in Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland it moves between 10-20%. The lowest ratio of female part-time employment is observable in Greece and most of new EU member States (namely: the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia).
Inter-country comparison of male part-time employment indicates that it is parallel with female part-time employment figures (although part-time employment among men is much less frequent in all of the EU countries). Besides value patterns and labour market regulation features also the general level of well-being matters a lot: in the poorer new EU members income from part-time employment is hardly enough to ensure a decent family (or individual) life. Female and male employed part-time in the European Union (as a % of total female and male employment, Q2 2005) Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Greece Spain France Ireland Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Hungary Malta Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom EU25
Female 40.7 8.4 32.7 44.3 10.4 9.1 24.9 30.9 24.4 25.7 13.8 11.6 8.5 40.2 6.1 19.3 75.3 38.7 14.2 16.6 11.0 3.9 18.5 39.9 43.1 32.6
Male 7.1 2.1 12.8 7.7 4.9 2.1 4.7 5.7 5.0 4.5 5.1 7.6 4.6 2.4 2.9 4.7 22.6 5.9 7.7 7.1 7.1 1.2 9.1 11.8 10.6 7.3
1.4. Career pattern inequalities in the EU25 Gender inequalities in the workplace can be characterized by different career opportunities. Two commonly used indicators to measure this phenomenon are the share of female managers (as a % of total managers) and the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is the difference between average earnings of male and female employees. In all of the EU countries, the share of female managers is lower than 50%. The ratio is the lowest (below 20%) in the two new EU member Mediterranean States, Cyprus and Malta. The highest ratio (above 40%) is observable in Latvia and Lithuania. In general, post-socialist
countries have a higher ratio of female managers: Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia equally register a share of above 30%. The ratio of female managers is higher than 30% in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal as well as Ireland and the United Kingdom. However, in North-European countries (Denmark, Finland, Sweden), the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and Greece the share of female managers is only between 20-30%. These data underline two interesting cultural-historical factors: although in a contradictory way, post-socialist countries achieved remarkable results in promoting this feature of gender equality. On the other hand, Nordic countries – cited as positive examples concerning gender equality in the fields of employment, part-time employment and combating unemployment – have a somewhat worse than average performance in this aspect of equal opportunity. Share of female managers and gender pay gap in the European Union Share of female managers in total managers, Q2 2005 32.9 30.3 23.0 26.4 37.5 25.8 32.3 37.1 30.2 31.9 13.6 44.3 42.7 26.3 34.3 14.5 25.6 27.0 32.5 34.2 32.8 31.2 29.7 29.8 34.5 32.1 Gender pay gap, 2004 6 19 17 23 24 10 15 12 11 7 25 15 16 14 11 4 19 18 10 5 9 24 20 17 22 15
Belgium Czech Republic Denmark Germany Estonia Greece Spain France Ireland Italy Cyprus Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Hungary Malta Netherlands Austria Poland Portugal Slovenia Slovakia Finland Sweden United Kingdom EU25
Inter-country differences in gender pay gap are difficult to interpret. While most of the Southern European states (Malta, Portugal, Italy and Greece) register the lowest differences, Nordic countries, Estonia, Slovakia and Cyprus produce the highest differences. It seems that the smaller difference in opportunities of employment and the extension of part-time employment correlate rather negatively with the gender pay gap. Even bearing in mind that women and men have different employment characteristics by economic sectors and that
working women tend to be younger (‘less senior’ and as a result, on average they have less opportunity to fulfil managerial positions), this underlines that a problem of equal opportunities continues to exist in all of the EU countries. 1.5. Gainful versus domestic work in the EU25 Examining gender inequalities in the world of work, we cannot neglect the fact that total work of women and men consists of two components: besides gainful (paid) work domestic (nonpaid) work matters as well. While men spend more time than women on working in the workplace, the reverse is true for domestic work. Regarding total work there is only one country in the EU, namely Sweden, in which women and men spend the same amount time. On the other hand, in Lithuania, Slovenia, Hungary, Estonia as well as in Italy and Spain the total number of hours worked per day is conspicuously higher for women than for men: the difference is more than one hour. Again, cultural and historical factors together explain the structure of use of time. Women living in post-socialist countries have an especially hard life in this respect: not only the gender inequalities in time use are significant, but also people in these countries work generally more than in the old EU member countries. As a result, Lithuanian women work more than 8 hours on average, i.e. almost two hours more than German women (the difference compared to German men is 2 hours and 14 minutes). 1.6. Gender peculiarities in education: an additional factor behind gender inequalities Traditionally, equal opportunity researches focused on the problem of women. However dramatic changes in the educational success may indicate an (at least partial) shift towards the problem of men. Recent indicators underline that the share of women is already markedly higher among tertiary students (54.6%). This trend is valid across the EU; only in two countries (Germany and Cyprus) have men a higher share among tertiary students (although the difference in favour of men is negligible in these countries: only 1%). In the other 23 EU countries women have a higher share among tertiary students; the difference in favour of women is especially striking in the 3 Baltic States (more than 20%). In the meantime, faculty segregation remained strong: on average, the share of women is 37.3% among students of science, mathematics and computing, while they represent 65.6% in faculties of humanities and art. Not only tertiary education figures, but also upper secondary education data underline that in the future the problem of men could aggravate in the world of work. With the exception of the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, a lower ratio of men completed at least upper secondary education in the age group 20-24. In the overall EU25 the ratio of men is 74.6% compared to 80% of women. Differences in favour of women are especially high in Southern European countries. In addition, in Spain, but especially in Portugal and Malta the general level of completed upper secondary education is markedly lower than in other EU countries: only 40.4% of young Portugese men and 41.7% of Maltese men were able to finish an upper secondary school with success. 2. Labour market trends and policies to promote gender equality in the workplace: the case of Hungary The Hungarian labour market has some specific features. Although the problem of gender
inequality exists, in most aspects of the world of work it is definitely smaller than the average of the EU. However, the most critical factors (low participation and high inactivity rate, health problems) affect men and women almost equally. In this part of the paper we give a brief overview of the most striking problems of the world of work in Hungary, while in the next part we present the main programmes regarding the promotion of gender equality. 2.1. Economic activity In Hungary, the rate of employment had fallen significantly by the early 1990s and unemployment has spread. Favourable changes in the labour market only began in 1997, when in parallel with a decrease in unemployment that had been observed since 1993, employment began to expand, too. The employment rate of men in Hungary is traditionally higher than that of women. In 2003 51% of women and 63% of men were employed in the age group of 15-64 years. Gender gap in employment grew somewhat in the first half of the 1990: in 1992 it was 11.7%, in 1997 14.4%, by 2003 it had fallen to 12.5%. Only in the Mediterranean countries, where the division of family responsibilities follows traditional patterns, and in Poland is women’s labour market participation lower than in Hungary. As for men, only Poland’s employment rate is lower than Hungary's. There are significant gender and age differences in the economic activity profile of 15-64 year olds. In Hungary, the labour market participation of older, but still active generations is far below the EU average. At the time of the census, only 11% of 55-64 year-old women had a job, and the majority (74%) were retired. 20% of men and 10% of women leave the labour market by retiring on grounds of disability. Employment among 15-24 year-olds has decreased significantly for both genders (in 1992 it was 54%, in 2002 it was 42%). Generational unemployment rates, too, have increased in recent years, especially among women. According to an OECD study, in 2002 Hungary had the highest rate of people who had been unemployed for over 12 months. Education and qualifications are the key factors in labour market success, and this applies more to women. Studies support that education has a stronger influence on the labour market chances and risks of women than on those of men. It is striking, that only 15% of men and 8% of women aged between 25 and 64 and with less than 8 years of primary education had a job at the time of the census. Almost 60 of low-skilled women in active age-groups are retired (almost 20% on grounds of disability). Only 34% of women aged 25-64 who had completed primary education are employed. The employment rate is highest among those with tertiary education, and this is the group with the lowest gender difference (77% of women and 85% of men aged 25-64 were employed in 2001.) The unfavourable structure of tertiary education is more disadvantageous for women: there are jobs where women are highly over-represented, yet the labour market opportunities offered by these occupations are limited, and the holders of such degrees generally get into dead-end positions. According to data from 2003, tertiary education programmes with strong female participation include courses on health (69%), the liberal arts (70.4%), teacher training for nurses and primary schools (89.5%) and social work (79.6%). These contribute significantly to the horizontal gender segregation of the labour market (HCSO 2004:50). Adult education has an important role in handling employment problems and career
advancement. In the accession countries adult training is less widespread, and Hungary occupies one of the bottom places even in this group, with participation rates of 3% for men and 3.7% for women. In 2003 fewer than 1.6 million Hungarians took part in any form of adult education in 2002. (HCSO) Younger people were much more willing to take part in training. 2.2. Structure and dynamics of the labour market Women are typically over-represented in the sectors of education and health care. Financial services companies and estate agents are taking on more and more employees, both men and women. A characteristic feature f the change of the occupational structure is the rise in nonmanual jobs, especially for women. A particular development over the past few years has been the growth of the proportion of routine service workers (office assistants, workers in retail, catering, other services, mostly working without qualifications.) Data from 2002 indicates that women are dominant in these occupations (more than 10% of active females versus 4% of active males). The extent of employment segregation decreased somewhat over the past 20 years, and especially by a larger amount in the case of young people. (70% in the early 90’s, 59% after 2000.) Differences between female and male wages have also narrowed somewhat in recent years. (1995 – 81%, 2002- 85% of men’s) Data from former socialist countries suggest that the presence of women in management was always more accepted here. Women have a significant role in management (35%), but their presence in top management is minimal. The glass ceiling is between middle management and upper management. The proportion of men working as senior managers or as junior managers and professionals is more or less the same (12%), there are about three times as many women working in the latter positions as in the former. The proportion of middle-ranking specialist is much higher among women. When seeking a new job, 18% of women seek fewer working hours and more free time (16% of men). – it is more important for holders of secondary school certificates and younger people. It is primarily middle-aged women with children who find it important to have a job that offers a better balance between work and family responsibilities. (14% of women vs 8% of men). 2.3. Time spent on paid and productive work Surveys from the mid-80’s on show that middle-aged men (30-49) spend the most time on paid work. Among women the highest proportion of time spent on paid and productive work is among 40.49 olds – they have the highest rate of employment. There is a general fall in mandatory working time and a spread of flexible working arrangement, but as a result, work and free time may be difficult to set apart. The ratio of workers with fixed employment contracts and in temporary jobs is low by international standards but is increasing: in 2003 it accounted for 7.5% (HCSO, 2004). These forms of employment typically occur among women in the EU, while in Hungary the proportion is higher for men. While the time spent by employed men on paid and productive work has decreased slightly, in the case of employed women it has grown to some extent in the past 15 years. In the mid80’s, men over 55 and middle-aged women worked the most, at the turn of the millennium it
was the youngest age group, those below 30 that was the hardest working. Thus young people who are in fact employed work much more than previously. (Employed women aged 15-29 work 440 minutes a day on average, while men work 490 minutes). Entrepreneurs with employees and those in routine service jobs spend most time on work in both genders. Employed women in Hungary spend more time on paid work than any women in any other European country. The estimated number of average working hours in Hungary is more than 1600, while in the UK 1400, and even in Slovenia below 1500. In Germany 37% of women aged 20-49 work part time while the rate in Hungary is 4%. Furthermore the share of part time workers has barely increased since 1995. (!!!) In Hungary it is primarily older women and women with low educational attainment levels that work part time. 2.4. Balancing family commitment and work The European time survey in 2004 (EUROSTAT 2004) indicates that Hungarian women spend the greatest amount of time on housework and childcare. The most important factor influencing women’s labour market opportunities and risks is the number and age of their children. Mothers with kindergarten-age children are more likely to lose their jobs and become inactive, and are less likely to re-enter the labour market, than people with no or older children. The more children a woman is raising, the less likely she is to participate in the labour market. There are significant differences between EU countries in this respect: the relationship between the number of children and women’s labour market status is the strongest in Hungary. While almost 80% of childless women aged 20-49 are in employment, only 59% of those with one child are employed, and this rate falls to 13% in the case of mothers with 3 or more children. In the case of men there is a reverse relationship between the number of children and participation in the labour market. Regardless of their occupational status, partners follow the tradition division of labour at home: wives perform most of the household activities while husbands spend more time on paid work. When the wife has a better occupational status than the husband, and thus earns more, she spends almost as much time on paid work as her partner. But this does not mean that these women work significantly less at home than those who live in families where the husband has a better job. Rather it makes them carry a dual burden. In Hungary, one partner’s labour market status has a significant influence on the other partner’s labour market and occupational success or failure. 3. Programmes to promote gender equality in the workplace 3.1. EQUAL Community Initiative Programme Theme H: Reducing gender gaps and supporting job desegregation: This priority promotes equal opportunities for women and men in the labour market through reducing gender gaps and fighting horizontal and vertical segregation. Measures under this priority aim at raising awareness of gender issues in the labour market, and changing stereotypes and patterns. The total amount of funding available for the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme in Hungary for the period of 2004-2006, is 40,389,513euros, out of which 30,292,135 euros are from the Structural Funds coupled with 10,097,378 euros national contribution from the Hungarian Central Budget. The theme H ”Reducing gender gaps and supporting job desegregation” received 8% of the funding, which is 3,231,161 euros. 5 projects are realized in this theme at the moment.
3.2. Human Resources Development Operational Programme (HRD OP) Within the framework of the National Development Plan with funding from the European Social Fund, measure 1.3., ”Return of women to the labour market” of the Human Resources Development programme tackles the question of gender equality and the workplace. The objective of this measure is: – to improve the employability of women; – to promote their participation in the labour market; – to provive care services to facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life. This measure tries to improve the employment opportunities of women through interventions on both the labour supply and the labour demand side. On the one hand, the employability of women is to be improved, and on the other, new jobs will be created through the extension of care services. The enhancement of these services also serves a better exploitation of the employment potential of the service sector. Training, distance learning programmes, employment services and counselling should be delivered to ensure the updating of knowledge and skills necessary to get a job. Business starters and self-employed should be assisted through advisory services and the development of entrepreneurial skills. There are especially broad opportunities for women pursuing entrepreneurial activities in the employment potential of the servicing sector not yet appropriately utilised today. To ensure that women with small children or caring for relatives at home can participate in training programmes, take a job or pursue entrepreneurial activities, care services are needed. Therefore, support will be given for providing such services, particularly when these offer employment to unemployed and inactive women. Activities of the programme: – Promoting labour market participation ● training, skills training, distance learning, ● employment aid. – Supporting business starters and self-employment ● development of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, advisory services, ● self-employment aid. – Improvement and extension of care services ● providing, developing and creating day-care services for children or other family members; ● training programmes for providers of care services. In the first round in 2004 27 project proposals were selected to implement their project. In the second round in 2005 more than twice as many received funding. 3.3. Family Friendly Workplace To support the reconciliation of work and family life, each year the Family Friendly Workplace award is presented since 2000. It might be awarded to companies and institutions implementing outstanding family friendly measures. One of the main objectives of the award
programme is collecting and disseminating information on existing measures and good practices, and raise awareness on the issue. 3.4. National Action Plan for Employment (2004, updated in 2005): Gender Equality In 2003, women represented 51.2% of the population aged 15-64, and 45.8% of employees. Thus, in Hungary not so much the employment gap of women but the generally low employment poses the most serious problem. The female unemployment rate was 5.6% in 2003, 0.5% more favourable than that of men (6.1%). However, it should be noted that inactivity is higher among women. In the 1990’s, the decrease of female employment was also followed by a conservative shift in attitudes, even among women themselves, towards the employment of women. 3.4.1. Supporting the employment of parents with young children The low employment level also has its roots in the fairly extensive family benefits system that provides a variety of allowances for persons caring for a family member (child or next-ofkin). The child care allowance (GYES) is a universal cash benefit until the age 3 of the child. Its amount is equal to the minimum old age pension. The child care benefit (GYED) is an insurance-based payment that can be received until the child is two years old. The amount depends on the previous income, but the monthly maximum is limited. Once the GYED eligibility is over, it is possible to make use of GYES for an additional (3rd) year. The child raising support (GYET) is for parents who stay away from the labour market who have at least 3 children, with the youngest under the age of 8. Persons caring for old, ill or disabled relatives might receive a regular nursing fee. Although there are no discriminative conditions among the eligibility criteria of child care benefits, which would put fathers into a more disadvantageous situation than mothers, these are mostly utilised by women. (According to the Ministry of Health, Social and Family Affairs data, in 2003, 6% of GYES-recipients and 0.7% of GYED-recipients were men.) As a result, young women are often absent from the labour market for years which might lead to the erosion of their skills making their return more difficult. The activity rate of women with children between 6-10 years is lower than that of women with no children or with older children. Women with a higher education level – even after the birth of more than one child – have more success in returning to the labour market than women with lower education. For example, 63% of mothers with higher education and with three children are working, as against 17% of those mothers who have primary school education (Source: Changing families, HCSO 2002). 3.4.2. Day-care services for children and other relatives There are 3 main types of daytime care services for children under 3 years: nursery, the family daytime centre and the child minder service. The number of nursery places decreased sharply in the first part of the 1990’s and then later at a slighter rate. In 2002, 10.1% of the corresponding age group was enrolled in a nursery (source: HCSO). The ratio of children per nursery place was 120% in 2002, but the regular daily attendance is around 80%. There is a demand for flexible care, however there are hardly any child day-care services which are well adjusted to the needs of working parents. Regional disparities are significant in terms of access to daytime child care.
Daytime, pre-school care for children between 3-6 is provided by kindergartens that are part of the public education system. Hungary has a well-established network of kindergartens, and the proportion of children admitted to kindergartens is high, around 90%. Nevertheless this ratio is lower among children from disadvantaged families. The daytime care of disabled children is particularly problematic, especially outside large cities. Given the current enrolment rates and scarce resources (staff) of day-care services, only a few of them offer inclusive care services for children with disabilities. Between 2001 and 2003, the system of basic and special social care services and the community-based social care services underwent important changes. The aim was to bring these services closer to the users and also to provide increasing assistance to families in care activities. In this framework, two new types of services were created: the support service and the so-called dial-in home care. In addition, the day-care centres for people with disabilities were further developed and strengthened, and development centres were also set up. 3.4.3. Reconciling work and family life, promoting labour market return to the labour market To support the reconciliation of work and family life, the Family Friendly Workplace award has been presented every year since 2000 (see above). In addition, the labour market reintegration of women was supported by a PHARE Project between 2001 and 2004. The total budget of the programme was 4 million euros and it has two components: a twinning partnership co-operation and a grant scheme to support the return of women to the labour market either as employees or as self-employed workers. The general purpose of the programme is strengthening equal opportunities for both women and men, while supporting the integration or re-integration of inactive women to the labour market. Labour centres also regularly design and implement integrated labour market programmes for women. These use a combination of training, services and supported employment adjusted to the needs of the target group and thus promote their employment effectively.
3.4.4. Segregation, wage gaps Both horizontal and vertical segregation are characteristic of female employment. Horizontal segregation is indicated by the high concentration of female labour in some sectors and professions which pay worse than the average. More than 75% the employees in health care and education are women, which is partly explained by the low wages in these sectors, and partly by working conditions which are more favourable from the aspect of reconciling family and work. While 45% of all employees are women, in office jobs this figure is 96%, and in auxiliary jobs requiring higher education it is 65%. Vertical segregation is indicated by the fact that in the private sector, only about one tenth of the managers filling the top positions of the employment hierarchy are women, and women only represent 30% of entrepreneurs. Despite the higher educational level of women, their average gross earnings are 19% lower than those of men. In comparable jobs, for work of equal value, women receive approximately 13-14% lower wages on average both in the public and private sectors. The wage gaps are however, somewhat lower than the EU average. There is a correlation between job segregation and wage-gaps: the higher concentration of female employees is in the public
sector which traditionally offers lower earnings. At the same time, due to the lower salaries, the public sector is less attractive to men and this further increases the concentration of women. However, in the past few years, salaries went up significantly in the public sphere. This considerably improved the wage situation of several traditionally female occupations, and reduced the gender wage-gaps in the whole economy. And due to the increased earnings, the public sector has become an attractive option for a larger number of men, this has also reduced job segregation. 3.4.5. Policy responses: Promoting equal treatment and equal opportunities for all Equality between men and women is one of the basic principles of =the Hungarian legal system, and it is also promoted by the Act CXXV of 2003 ‘Promoting equal treatment and equal opportunities for all’. The aim of the Act is to combat discrimination and unfair treatment of different minority groups, including women, in a number of areas. Key challenges: ● Combat all forms of discrimination against women; ● Promote the labour market participation of women; ● Develop day care; ● Combat segregation of the labour market. 220.127.116.11. Combating discrimination of women A number of institutions created by the Equal Opportunities Act was set up recently. – A national anti-discrimination authority with a right to impose cash fines was set up on January 1st, 2005. – In 2005, the Government launched Equal Opportunities Programme of the Republic of Hungary (KEP) that coordinates the various activities and measures aimed at promoting equal opportunities by other ministries and government agencies. In the KEP a nation-wide survey on wage gaps has been carried out and a strategy was prepared on combating wage discrimination. Employers are encouraged to review wage gaps and work assessment systems, and draw up and implement their own strategies. They will receive adequate support and information for these activities, with special attention to the public sector. Public sector employers and businesses are preparing their own equal opportunity strategies from 2005. These must include measures to promote equal opportunities of different groups of employees, including women and cover issues as wage gaps, working conditions, and access to training. 18.104.22.168. Fostering the participation of women in the labour market Recently, the government has introduced a number of measures that might facilitate maintaining contacts with the labour market during the time children are cared for at home: ● Those receiving child care allowance – if the child is older than 18 months child raising support or nursing fee – might take up part-time or home-based full time employment. Their employers are exempted from the payment of the fixed component of employers’ contribution to health care as of 2004. ● Both parents are entitled to receive these cash benefits under identical conditions. After the child becomes 1 year old, the GYES may be transferred to a grandparent. ● Persons who are not in the labour market because of child care, can participate in higher education or training free of charge. Moreover, since 2002 they can take part in the
integrated labour market programmes organized by the PES as well. In 2004 with funding from the ESF a grant scheme was launched to promote the labour market (re-)integration of women or the retention of their jobs. The scheme supports alternative labour market services and services to assist business start-ups designed especially for women. The programme gives priority to actions targeting older women and women who were absent from the labour market for a longer period. It is expected that these services will reach at least 4,000 women. In addition, the labour centres also launch labour market programmes based on an integrated approach in four counties, serving similar purposes. 22.214.171.124. Development of day-care A necessary condition of female employment and the reconciliation of work and family life is the availability of adequate day-care services for dependent family members. To this end: ● In order to increase the number of places at nurseries and to improve access, all settlements with more than 10,000 inhabitants were obliged to set up a nursery as of July 1st, 2005. The target is to increase the number of places available by 10% by 2007. Between 2004 and 2006, with the assistance of the ERDF, approximately 2,000 new nursery places will be established. ● The development of the support services and day-care centres for people with disabilities will continue. ● Approximately 30 new dial-in home care services were set up in 2004, and a normative financial support of such services was introduced. 126.96.36.199. Combating segregation In labour market programmes, little attention had been paid so far to job segregation of women, therefore in this area primarily innovative initiatives and new approaches are needed. To that end, the EQUAL Community Initiative Programme tries to promote activities aimed at reducing the labour market differences between genders and decreasing job segregation as of 2004. The purpose is to ensure equal opportunities for both women and men on the labour market, while reducing the gender differences as well as vertical and horizontal segregation. To reduce horizontal segregation, the programme on the one hand supports activities that encourage young students to familiarise themselves with, and to try work in trades and areas dominated conventionally by the other gender before making their career-choices. On the other hand it encourages a higher participation of women in research and development, as well as in technology and natural sciences. And, in order to combat vertical segregation, it supports initiatives that foster the promotion of women within the company by introducing new methods and also by raising awareness of employers. Concluding remarks The analysis of inter-country statistical data underlines that problems of gender inequality continue in EU countries. Besides sectoral business cycles, long-term cultural and historical factors matter a lot, but employment policy measures and labour market regulations may lead to changes even in the short run. In general, Southern European countries have stronger problems in ensuring equal opportunities on the labour market, while Northern European countries indicate surprisingly high gender pay gaps. Most of the post-socialist countries have problems of labour force
participation, which, however affect both women and men. In these countries the extremely low share of part-time employment makes the conciliation of family commitments and work especially hard for women. Recent education trends draw attention to the aggravating future problems of men in the world of work: in general, women are more successful in completing upper secondary education. The difference to the detriment of men is especially striking in the younger generations of the Southern European countries. The existing programmes which try to promote gender equality in the workplace focus on combating discrimination and segregation. Additional programmes encourage support of reconciliation of work and family life: family friendly workplaces, the employment of parents with young children as well as day-care services for dependent family members. However, all of these programs concentrate on the role of women; the role of men is almost completely neglected. References Bukodi, Erzsébet (2006): Women’s Labour Market Participation and Use of Working Time. IN: Changing Roles, 2006, TÁRKI Social Research Institute, pp: 15-44. Eurostat (2006a): How is the time of women and men distributed in Europe? Statistics in Focus, Population and Social Conditions, 4/2006 Eurostat (2006b): A Statistical View of the Life of Woman and Men in the EU25. News Release, 29/2006 Fazekas, Károly et al. (2005): Statisztikai adatok (Statistical Data). IN: Munkaerőpiaci Tükör (Labour Market Mirror) 2005. MTA KTI, pp. 269-361 Frey, Mária (2005): Az Európai Unió foglalkoztatási stratégiájának fejlődéstörténete. (Development History of the Employment Strategy of the European Union.) IN: European Employment Strategy – Ways of Adaptability in the New Member States. The Case of Hungary. Kopint-Datorg Foundation for Economic Research, pp. 13-32 Garzó, Lilla (2005): Action Plans Supporting Employment – Goals and Trends in Hungarian Employment Policy. IN: European Employment Strategy – Ways of Adaptability in the New Member States. The Case of Hungary. Kopint-Datorg Foundation for Economic Research, pp. 33-49 Nagy, Beáta (2006): Women in Management. IN: Changing Roles, TÁRKI Social Research Institute, pp: 45-55. National Action Plan for Employment, 2004, Hungary