Gender pay gap remains a challenge for Georgia

Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The gender pay gap and its elimination is one of the most serious challenges faced by Georgia; Photo: UN Women
The gender pay gap and its elimination is one of the most serious challenges faced by Georgia; Photo: UN Women

In order to understand and reduce the gender pay gap, it is critically important to research and analyse the relevant data on the matter.

With the importance of this issue in mind, UN Women has published a special report entitled “Analysis of the Gender Pay Gap and Gender Inequality in the Labour Market in Georgia”, which is based upon the detailed study of the labour force survey carried out by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in 2017.

The special report consists of several very important findings. According to monthly salaries, the gender pay gap in Georgia amounted to 37.2 per cent in 2017. This means that the monthly salaries of employed women made up only 62.8 per cent of the monthly salaries of employed men. As for wages, the gender pay gap amounted to 17.7 per cent. It is noteworthy that these indicators do not reflect the likely differences that could exist between employed men and women based on their education, work experience and other personal characteristics.

To reflect and account for these individual characteristics, an adjusted calculation of the pay gap uses a more precise indicator to evaluate the gender inequality that exists in Georgia in terms of equal pay for equal work. The adjusted gender pay gap in Georgia was 24.8 per cent in 2017, which was higher than the raw gender wage gap. According to the findings of the survey, the employed women earned less than the employed men for each hour of work even though the women possessed better professional characteristics (education and work experience).

The report also discusses the legislative mechanisms designed to help eliminate the gender pay gap, particularly the Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100) of the International Labour Organization (ratified by Georgia in 1993) and Directive 2006/54 of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

From the many recommendations the report provides to improve the legislative mechanisms, several matters are especially noteworthy. For example, the Labour Code of Georgia should include a regulation for the principle of equal pay for equal work and provide a mechanism for its effective enforcement. The Code should also incorporate a separate provision for “remuneration” and, as a result of consultations with international partners, formulate regulations for the transparency of said remuneration. Moreover, the Code should incorporate a definition for “minimum wage”, which is an important measure to help eliminate the gender pay gap. It is recommended to establish a minimum wage at various levels, and a mechanism for its annual review and adjustment should be in place and working.

UN Women uses the data and the recommendations of the report to advocate for gender equality in matters related to labour relations and labour legislation.

The report was prepared within the scope of the regional project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus”, which is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation and the Austrian Development Cooperation.