Garik Hayrapetyan, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Armenia Executive Director, spoke on the situation of women's rights prior to Women's International Day on March 7.
Hayrapetyan also shared the results of the new UNFPA study for Armenia. For comparison, Hayrapetyan noted that Armenia ranks the third among European and Central Asian countries, with Georgia's indicator to be (51.1%), and Kazakhstan's indicator - (38.1%), respectively. The overall pay gap of EU member countries is 15.9 %, and the world average indicator is 22.9%.
In 2015-2016, UN Population Fund conducted a study in Armenia entitled "Study of Discrimination against Women". Funded by UNFPA, within the frameworks of the project "Inconsistencies of Gender Equality”, the study was conducted and authorized by an independent expert Nvard Manasyan.
Nvard Manasyan commented that the pay gap varies according to economic sectors. In agriculture, women’s average salary is 83.8 percent of men’s salary; in education - 81.3 percent; in healthcare and social services - 75.1 percent; in public administration - 67.9 percent, and in fiscal and insurance sector - 54.9 percent, respectively.
“Women are mainly engaged in low-paid sectors. In agriculture, women’s engagement was 58.7 percent; in services - 50 percent; in public administration - 60.5 percent; in education – 77.3 percent; in healthcare – 84.2 percent, and in art - 65.4 percent,” clarified Nvard Manasyan.
Women prefer humanities and social sciences, pedagogy and art, economics and service-related professions. The number of women paving their way to other studies and/or specialties has reduced.
“Interestingly, school-age girls are not at all inferior to boys at exact sciences: they are equally good at mathematics, physics, and chemistry. However, after school, most of girls mysteriously choose humanitarian and pedagogical professions,” said the expert.
Although women in Armenia are not at all inferior to men in terms of education, they typically assume subordinate positions. In the period of 2001-2011, there was a sharp decline among women in the number of posts requiring education-based working skills - 64.3 percent to 26.1 percent. In Armenia, the public sector is dominated by women employees; however they fill subordinate and non-executive offices. Therefore, the number of these women is 68.6 percent.