Reactor promotes new report on Gender Based Discrimination and Labour in North  Macedonia

On April 11, at the EU Info Centre in Skopje, Reactor – Research in Action promoted the new research report on Gender Based Discrimination and Labour in North Macedonia.

The report analyzes the shortcomings in the relevant legal framework related to gender-based discrimination and labour rights; the prevalence and nature of gender-based discrimination in the labour market; the extent to which people have filed claims; how institutions have treated such cases; and contains recommendations for improving the existing legal framework, institutional mechanisms and practices for protection against gender-based discrimination in employment and access to work.

The results of the survey show that gender based discrimination at work affects women more than men.

„Not to lose my job, I was forced to return to work 14 days after I gave birth.”„ At a job interview, I was told that the work they do could not be performed by women because women are less intelligent than men.”; „ In the same working position, with the same work responsibilities and the same level of education, I received 3,000 denars less than my male colleague.” – are just a few of the testimonials of female workers surveyed in the research.

The gender-based discrimination that women face at work seems fuelled by sexism and gender stereotypes, which suggest that their ‘reproductive and care roles, and domestic work’ conflict with the work environment as it is perceived as a barrier for career development and progress by the employers and managers. Pregnancy remains a risky career move and women are often forced to choose between their careers or having children – this decision sometimes is predetermined for them by employers. Just because they are women, they are penalized with lower working positions (barriers in the promotion process) and lower salaries compared to men.

The findings of the study show that very few cases of gender-based discrimination against women at work have been reported to the different mechanisms available for prevention and protection from discrimination. The institutions responsible for addressing gender-based discrimination at work lack data about its prevalence. The precise prevalence of gender-based discrimination cannot be known given that cases often may not be reported. Interviewed stakeholders presume that gender-based discrimination is not reported due to lack of knowledge where to go, distrust in the institutions and lengthy and expensive processes to prove discrimination.

The panel will hosted several presenters: Sophie Beaumont, Programme Manager for education, gender equality and rights for persons with disabilities at the Delegation of the European Union; Jovana Trenchevska, State Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy; Olivera Lazarevska, State Labor Inspectorate; Kristina Ampeva, Glasen Tekstilec; and Igor Jadrovski, Network for Protection against Discrimination.

This research is part of the regional action “Furthering Women’s Labor Rights”, supported by the European Union (EU) implemented in six Western Balkan countries (North Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro). The research was done at the end of the year 2018.