Portugal leads in female entrepreneurship, but wage inequality has increased in the pandemic

The presence of women in the labor market has grown, from 59% in 1993 to 72% in 2020

Entrepreneurship in the Euro-Mediterranean region has a “male face”, but Portugal leads in women entrepreneurs, despite the fact that wage inequality has increased during the pandemic or women need to work 51 more days to equal the salary of men.

According to a report by the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM), released this week, “despite strong variations between [42] countries, entrepreneurship in the Euro-Mediterranean region continues to maintain a male face”.

Even so, Portugal leads the 'ranking' of countries with more women entrepreneurs with 37,2%, followed by Croatia with 31,5%, while, for example, in Morocco “women represent only 12,8% of entrepreneurs and the their number has dropped in the last year”, reads the report.

On the other hand, data compiled by the Pordata database, from the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, show that wage inequality between men and women increased during the covid-19 pandemic, in such a way that Portugal, Latvia and Finland are the only three European countries where this happened between 2019 and 2020.

For Portugal, the figure for the wage gap between men and women stood at 11,4% in 2020, after having stood at 10,9% in 2019.

On the other hand, the wage gap between women and men reached 14,1% in 2019, which corresponds “to a loss of 51 days of paid work for women”, says Pordata.

However, the presence of women in the labor market has grown, from 59% in 1993 to 72% in 2020.

“When comparing employment rates with the European Union average of 27, it appears that there are more women in Portugal working than the European average”, which is at 66,8%.

He also mentions that “although part-time work covers, on average, 30% of European workers, this is not a reality in Portugal”, where the percentage does not exceed 12%.

Although the employment rate in 2020 is higher among men (77,8%) than among women (71,9%), it was among them that the evolution was more expressive, taking into account that in 1993 only 59,2, 81,2% of women were employed while among men the percentage was XNUMX%.

The data compiled by Pordata also make it possible to verify that “women already surpass men in some professions that, in the past, were typically male”, such as doctors (56,3%), lawyers (55%) and magistrates ( 61,9%).

“Also in research, they are gaining ground: they represent 42% of the total number of investigators. They continue to predominate in teaching until secondary education and are under-represented in the police (8,4%)”, says Pordata.

Although more men are born, Portuguese women live longer and therefore “represent the majority of the population”, with 91 women for every XNUMX men.

They live, on average, six years longer than men, despite having an average healthy life expectancy of 58 years at birth, against 61 for men.

The average life expectancy at age 65 in 2020 was over 21,5 years for women and 17,8 years for men.

“In 2021, only about one in 20 women, aged between 18 and 24, dropped out of school without completing secondary education, while among them two in 20 left school without completing secondary education,” reads the statement. data from Pordata.

Portuguese women marry, on average, at the age of 33, while men are married at the age of 35, and have their first child later and later, at the age of 31 since 2019, a reality that has been getting worse since the beginning of the year. century and which increased the average age of mothers by about four years.

The UpM report highlights some measures to encourage gender equality implemented in the 42 countries that are part of the organization, noting that Portugal was one of the 11 countries – along with Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro and Tunisia – which passed legislation to balance gender representation in Parliament or regional structures.

Portugal is among the countries in the Euro-Mediterranean area with at least 30% women in Parliament (39,5%) and in Government (40%).