Why do women in Ukraine earn less than men?

According to the Derzhstat, during 2016 Ukrainian men earned more than Ukrainian women.

The average monthly wage of men amounted to UAH 6,001 and was one-third higher than the salaries of women, which amounted to UAH 4,480.

In Ukraine, the size of wages is affected by many factors, but let us try to focus on three, which lead to the difference in pay for men and women.


In our country, there is a regulatory and legal regulation of labour relations, which restricts women's access to certain types of work.

Our labour legislation prohibits the use of women's labour in heavy and harmful work.

However, men working in such industries receive benefits and compensation, which, accordingly, affects their level of remuneration.

Thus, in 2015, 70 % of workers employed in conditions that do not meet sanitary and hygienic standards were men.


The second factor is because women go on maternity leave, as well as take parental leave until the age of three, hospital care for sick family members, reduces the amount of payroll.

An enormous amount of time involved in caring for family members, housekeeping does not have a hypothetical monetary value and, as a result, is not properly assessed.

At once, the existing labour market, the lack of a clear regulatory regulation of issues of precarious employment makes it difficult to combine household work with additional earnings.


Another reason is the existing structure of employment.

Female employment predominates in activities with a low level of average wages – provision of communal and individual services, hotel and restaurant activities, education, health care and social services, in which women constitute the predominant share (60-83  %) of working citizens.

At the same time, high-paid industries, transport and information and communication technologies (61-79 %) remain "male" activities.

Simultaneously, the majority of management positions continue to be occupied by men.


It should be noted that the gap in wages of men and women has a worldwide trend.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which unites the 34 most developed economies of the world, the biggest gap in average wages for 2014 was recorded in South Korea (36.65 %), Estonia (28.34 %), Japan (25 87 %), Latvia (21.12 %).

Instead, the least obvious difference is observed in Belgium (3.3 %), Hungary (3.77 %) and Luxembourg (4.14 %).

To overcome the world trend in the gap between the payment of labour of men and women by international institutions, a lot of research has been carried out.

As a result, the Nineteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians even adopted a special definition of work: "Work includes any activity carried out by persons of any gender and age to produce goods or provide services for use by others or their own purposes."

Now, experts and human rights activists submit many proposals on the monetary evaluation of domestic work, the search for ways to improve working conditions and the introduction of equality in matters of labour remuneration.

In our policy research "The Policy of Social Pragmatism" within the framework of one of the eight state-building priorities identified by the team of the Institute for Social and Economic Research for 2017, the Institute puts the focus on a human.

More about updating the wage system, labour equality, productive employment, overcoming the system imbalances in payments, see the video of smart talk "Decent Work."

(The Article was published at the UP: Life on March 27, 2017)