Cypriots agree gender inequality is rife in job market

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Nine out of 10 employees acknowledge gender inequality exists in the Cyprus labour market while 86% of those surveyed believe there is discrimination against women while 20% said they were sexually harassed.

These are results of research on “Gender Discrimination in Employment in Cyprus”, commissioned by the Gender Equality in Employment and Vocational Training Committee presented on Tuesday by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou.

The research, conducted by IMR/ University of Nicosia, also found four in 10 believe there is a pay gap disfavouring women while the majority said their supervisors are male, a phenomenon more frequently encountered in the private sector.

At the same time, 80% said they would accept a woman in a supervisory position.

According to the main findings, eight out of 10 employees believe that male and female employees are treated equally by their supervisors while there is a universal dismissal of the “theory” that decision-making positions are reserved for men only, with 96% saying this is not true.

Four out of 10 female employees, mostly in the private sector, say they encountered gender-related problems.

Moreover, two out of 10 female employees said they have experienced sexual harassment in their workplace, the overwhelming majority, however (78%) said they filed no complaint about the incident.

Access to employment, professional advancement and access to decision-making centres are the areas where respondents say gender inequality is stronger.

Flexible hours is the measure deemed to be more appropriate to help bridge the gap between personal life and professional life.

When asked to what extent there is gender inequality in employment and vocational training in Cyprus, 39% of respondents said it exists to a sufficient degree, 35% to a small degree, 18% to a large degree and 8% not at all.

Emilianidou said promoting gender equality in employment is one of her Ministry’s top goals implemented by monitoring the relevant legislation.

Employment and Vocational Training Committee presented Louiza Christodoulidou Zannetou said equality also requires awareness among employees.

They need to know their rights and feel that the state provides them with the necessary mechanisms and support to file complaints about incidents that are not appropriate in the workplace.