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Old-age poverty threatens more women than men over lower pensions

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Prague, Sept 30 (CTK) – Almost 15 percent of women over 65 years of age living alone may fall into poverty compared with only 7 percent of men because their average pension is about one fifth lower than the men’s, according to an analysis presented by Gender Studies representatives yesterday.
The lower pensions are due to the women’s lower salaries. The Czech Republic is one of the EU countries with the biggest differences in remuneration of men and women, but at the same time it has one of the lowest poverty rate.
The average Czech male pensioner received 12,259 crowns monthly last year, while an average female pensioner only 10,050 crowns.
The almost 20 percent difference in average pensions has not changed over the past 15 years.
The reason of the big gap is that women usually work in worse paid branches and at lower positions. But it also often happens that they get less money for the same work than their male colleagues, sociologist Romana Volejnickvoa said.
“The pensions reflect the labour biography of men and women. The women’s is interrupted by the parental leave that is longest in Europe. In addition, women add it up if they have more children so that they are out of the labour market for six years perhaps,” Volejnickova said.
“At the end of their life at work, they look after helpless family members. Men, on the other hand, push their carriers during the 35 years they spend at work and have much higher salaries,” she said.
Klara Cmolikova Cozlova, from Gender Studies, said men are usually more capable of asking for a higher pay than women.
The analysis compared the situation in the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia and was mainly based on Eurostat data.
Income poverty in pension threatens more women than men in all five countries.
However, other factors play a role in the other countries, the analysis authors said.
In Austria, for instance, women have lower pensions mainly because they work part-time when looking after children and the family.
Dita Jahodova, from Gender Studies, said this is done by two thirds of Austrian mothers with children under 15. In 2013, 24 percent of Austrian old-age women and 14 percent of men were threatened with poverty.
In Slovenia, poverty threatens 33 percent of men over 65 and 42 percent of women of the same age, the analysis showed.
($1=24.286 crowns)

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