Unemployment among Women - the Price of Motherhood

In the last article we were talking about unemployment among young, unexperienced but educated people. Here we continue the subject of unemployment - among Polish women.
Women have much more difficult time to find a job than men do. Their chances decrease with age. Young and attractive women with high qualifications and fluency in foreign languages and experience have much better time to find a job also that the women above forty.

Recently almost half of the population of women could not find a job. Since salaries in Poland are lower than in Western Europe countries and in the USA - both parents need to work in order to secure the decent standard of life of the family. So the unemployment of women affects to the high degree the wellbeing of the families, not even mentioning single parenting which almost always lead to the low standard of life for children.

Paradoxically, even more educated women have a difficult time to find a job. There are many reasons for this. Usually women are less flexible and less mobile than men since they have family's duties. Also many employers see women as the guardians of the family who do not necessary need a job outside of the house in spite of the fact that during communism the amount of women who stayed home with children was lower than in the USA. But in the USA if the woman stayed home it was usually because of the choice - not because she could not find any job. Women do not work in all professions that men do.

Highly developed social system during communism also does not help women, especially mothers. The employers do not want to hire women because they use more benefits. Social benefits in Poland (and in Europe generally) are better than in the USA. In Poland women are entitled to 3 months of the paid maternity leave. Besides, they are entitled to take days off when their children are sick. Since the unemployment is very high in Poland, many women give up their benefits in order to be competitive in the job market.

Since the unemployment in Poland is high, many dishonest employers try to abuse the system. I heard about the cases when women were given a job after paying significant money to job agencies. These jobs were paying only a commission after you sell a product. Some dishonest employers look always for workers to do the job for free - for a trial period… later they never hire anybody, since people for trial period are needed only when other full-time workers are on holiday. Sometimes women are the victims of the sexual abuse. Some women could not be promoted because they refused sexual offers from their supervisors or bosses. Very rarely such cases go to court, unfortunately since Polish courts are very inefficient and corruptive.

Read the next article about Unemployment among older and less educated people and also about Specific Polish Features of Unemployment.

Check the series of articles about Polish unemployment, about Polish women and family.

© by Jagoda Urban-Klaehn, article #190

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