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Study: Ticas Face Labor Disadvantages

July 14, 2006

Compared to their fellow countrymen, Costa Rican women face serious labor disparities in terms of income, unemployment and managerial positions, according to a study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the National Institute for Women (INAMU) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Despite Costa Rican women’s higher average number of years of schooling – 9.6 versus 8.4 in men – Ticas who are self-employed receive salaries averaging 50% less than men in this category, José Manuel Hermida, UNDP resident representative for Costa Rica, explained.

Also, only 29% of Costa Rican women hold positions in management, which places the country in slot number 42 on the United Nations’ Gender Potentiation Index, an indicator of women’s economic and political participation in 154 countries, according to Hermida.

Although the male unemployment rate has decreased by 4% from 2001-2005, women’s unemployment rate has increased by 30% during the same period, the study revealed.

According to Jeannette Carrillo, INAMU executive president, women need to resolve the “tension between their productive life and reproductive life.”

Ticas’ family responsibilities often conflict with their job responsibilities, determining their permanence in the labor market, she said.

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