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“65% of jobseekers are women”

What problems do women face while looking for a job, why employers prefer unmarried young girls to work, and why women are more likely to appear in the shadow labor market? WomenNet.am talked to Hasmik Tadevosyan, Head of the Labor Market Analysis, Forecasting and Evaluation Department of the RA State Employment Agency, who also presented state programs aimed at facilitating and encouraging women to enter the labor market.

 

  • It is known that women’s participation in the labor market is much lower than that of men and it is not always explained by the absence of jobs. What hinders women’s involvement in the labor market?

 

  • According to State Employment Agency’s data for 2017, the number of job seekers was 88-89,000, of which 57,000 or 65% were women. Women’s index is always high among job seekers, which is understandable because we know that women’s share of economically inactive population is much higher than men. This is explained by various circumstances. Of course, the fact that women’s participation in the economically active population is low is unsettling, but it is encouraging that they are actively looking for a job and applying for an agency to find a job. As a result, women are actively involved in state employment programs, for example, women make up about 50% of those involved in business planning. Also, about 70-80% of vocational training courses are women, including those who do not have a specialization and  acquire professions corresponding to different labor market requirements. And those women who have a profession have the opportunity to re-qualify.

 

  • While the government tries to promote women’s access to the labor market through various programs, there is also a problem of women’s vulnerability in the same job market, as many studies suggest, women are more engaged in the shadow market, women are less paid than men, etc.

 

  • In fact, there is the fact that women earn less than men. If we study the two sections, state and private, then the gender issue in the public sector is not just possible. Another issue is that there are more men in the public sphere than men, and there is a difference in salaries. The low wage issue can also be conditioned by the fact that in Armenia they are more involved in areas where the rewards are initially lower – agriculture, trade, education, healthcare, etc. In the field of shadow employment, women often agree to work with very low salaries.

 

  • How is the state trying to solve problems related to combining women’s work and family responsibilities?

 

  • I think these problems are gradually solved, and the examples of the three projects I suppose are in that direction. And the Ministry of Education and Science also has a program that allows young mothers to get education at universities. So we can clearly say that the steps are taken especially in the employment of young mothers, their integration in the labor market, and maybe all this is happening more slowly than we would like, but the taken steps are obvious.

 

Full text in Armenian

 

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