On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8th of March, the NGO Càritas Barcelona reports that people who suffer most from job insecurity are women: lower salaries, more unemployment and more part-time work.
The image of insecurity is that of a single mother with children, who has difficulty in reconciling her family life and her working life.
The image of insecurity is that of a single mother with children, who has difficulty in reconciling her family life and her working life. 17% of the households looked after by Càritas Barcelona are in the charge of single mothers, a proportion which is almost double that of Catalan society as a whole (9%).
These mothers have said that they often have to accept jobs without contracts so that they can make the working hours compatible with looking after their children. They cannot aim for decent jobs, and this makes them feel vulnerable and humiliated. The result is that only 23% of the single women who have children and are looked after by Càritas Barcelona are working.
The relative poverty rate of the population of Catalonia (19.2%), shoots up in the cases of single mothers (40.4%) and women of foreign origin (42%)
The relative poverty rate of the population of Catalonia (19.2%), shoots up in the cases of single mothers (40.4%) and women of foreign origin (42%).
In terms of wages, women workers have lower salaries than men. The gross salary in Catalonia in 2015 was € 24,321 per year. However, that of men was € 27,514 and that of women € 20,946 (see Tabla I).
The difference in salaries reflects a greater job insecurity among women, more time spent by them on housework (the so-called “double day”) and the fact that the task of reconciling job and family usually falls to them. One of the consequences is that they hold fewer posts of responsibility than do men (the so-called “glass ceiling”).
In connection with the greater job insecurity among women, an example is the greater rate of bias, which is much more acute against women, and very low against men, according to data from the past ten years.
When it comes to reconciling family life and working life, it is the women who obtain most of the leave and permissions for looking after children or elderly people (Graph 2). These jobs are unpaid, and this directly affects their employability after childbirth. If we observe the figures for absences with permission, the differences are enormous, which proves that when the household needs to look after a relative, it is the womenfolk who bear the whole burden.
In view of this situation, Càritas Barcelona is asking for:
- An employment policy which is centred more on women, who represent half of the population, and who are those most affected by insecurity and poverty.
- The same conditions for maternity and paternity leave, so that women who have children are not penalised.
- An amendment to the Salario Mínimo Interprofesional, taking it up to €1,000 per month.
TBS Barcelona, university with a heart:
As a business school in Barcelona, TBS collaborates with Càritas Barcelona within its programme Universities with a Heart. Both the NGO and the school believe in the need to train students beyond the academic field: “It is also about making their human side grow, reinforcing the values that will later govern their professional performance,” says Caritas in its programme.
The blog of TBS Barcelona, Esencial Blog, disseminates pieces of news provided by Càritas about social issues as part of the awareness actions of the programme Universities with a Heart.