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Half of Macedonian women inactive in labor market

Nearly half of the women in Macedonia are inactive in the labor market, according to a research unveiled on Thursday.

During a conference organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UN Women and the International Labor Organization, the research showed that women are engaged mostly in maintenance of households, childcare and elder care.

These were cited as the main reasons for their work being unpaid.

Marjan Petreski, a leading expert of the study on gender equality in the labor market, said some women are convinced they are destined to be housewives and to care for children and the elderly.

"Their time spent on this turns into real work hours. This is considered unfavorable, especially considering the labor market because they are completely shut out of the workforce," said Petreski.
Participants said Macedonian policymakers should make efforts to change this trend by empowering women to join the labor market by looking for employment.

Louisa Vinton, UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative, pointed out the huge inequality in the burden of unpaid care work in households, with women on average performing 3.3 times more unpaid care work than their spouses or partners.

According to her, Macedonia has all the preconditions to benefit from a shift to investment "social care" services.

She also voiced concern on a gender wage gap which leaves women earning 18-19 percent less than men for equivalent work.

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