Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gender Segregation on the Labour Market: Roots, Implications and Policy Responses in Bulgaria

Beleva, Iskra (2008): Gender Segregation on the Labour Market: Roots, Implications and Policy Responses in Bulgaria. Published in:

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Abstract

The author outlines that gender segregation in employment are relatively new for Bulgaria, and there are not many studies on the problem. The analysis on sectoral and occupational structure indicates that gender segregation exists and deepens over the years. The occupational segregation over the years has increased both for high and low level occupations Women’s access to certain occupations, e.g. legislators, senior officials and managers’ positions, seems to be limited, while they are over-represented among other positions, e.g. professionals. The occupational segregation over the years has increased both for high and low level occupations. Being a professional means relatively high level of education, which implies that the level of education is not the factor that impedes women’s promotion to higher occupational positions. Meanwhile, among employed people with elementary occupation women are twice less than men despite the upward trends. All this points out the need for more detailed studies of the link between the educational level of the genders and their occupational distribution. Another conclusion concerns the over-representation of women among service workers and shop and market sales workers. This is a sector with relatively lower level of payment compared with the average for the country, which outlines a gender pay gap. As pointed above, women are better educated and in many cases their skill level (including education) is higher compared with the work they do. This means that women compromise with their skill level when accepting a job with lower skill request. A reasonable question is why do they do it? The reliability of the data the analysis is based on is an important question, which should not be neglected, since the gender distribution by occupations and sectors is based only on available official data and excludes employed people in the so-called “unregistered economic activities”. In transition countries, and Bulgaria in particular, the percentage of employed in the “unregistered/grey sector” is not low, since according to same authors it represents about 1/3 of the registered employment. The agricultural sector is one, where unregistered employment is reported to be high. Thus, it seems not very reliable that only 1/3 of employed in agriculture are women and the other 2/3 – men. Many women are engaged in the sector but are not registered as agricultural workers. One last conclusion concerns the active policy, which has to better balance the gender dissemination between occupations and sectors. The deepening of the occupational and sectoral imbalances in the period 2001-2006 could mean that occupational and sectoral segregation have not been subject to a relevant policy or to any policy at all or that the applied policies were not effective.

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