Moldova – Overcoming the Gender Equality Issues

Despite enshrining equal rights in national legislation, many challenges remain in ensuring gender equality. The greatest disparities relate to horizontal and vertical gender segregation: Moldovan women are mostly employed in low-paying jobs and occupy lower positions in the job hierarchy where they are employed. The representation of women in decision-making positions is very patchy in Moldova.

The result of the 2007 local elections led to a marginal improvement of women’s representation in the executive and representative bodies at a local public level. Following the 2009 parliamentary elections the number of women lawmakers grew. However, in the central government, despite gender parity in the distribution of salaries and even of high-ranked positions, the higher up in the hierarchical structure of decision makers one looks, the fewer women one finds compared to men. Given the increasing number of women involved in policy and decision-making at local and national levels, if this growth pace is maintained, it is possible that the MDG targets for 2015 will be achieved. Discrepancies between the salaries of women and men have decreased in recent years, with the average female salary standing at 76.4 percent of the average male salary in 2009. The gap remains because women, in most cases, either work in lower-paid sectors (traditionally considered feminine occupations) – education, healthcare or services - or occupy lower-paid positions.

Although the Government of Moldova has made efforts to improve the country’s performance in gender equality and empowering women, it is still hard to identify tangible progress. Thus, even though all women benefit from the same employment rights as men, they are still considered a relatively vulnerable group on the labor market. In this case, there are doubts that the mid-term target can be achieved, although it is more than likely that the long-term target will be reached.
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