November 23, 2020 - The coronavirus epidemic has had a devastating effect on the female population in Montenegro, according to a study by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) "Contribution to the Montenegrin economy and unpaid work and care," which covered the period of the first wave from February to June.
A large number of women lost their jobs. Their salaries were reduced, especially in the private sector.
Traditionally, women in Montenegro participate much more in unpaid work and household care than men, which is an additional problem for economic gender equality.
"The number of unemployed women increased by 3,560 from the end of February to the end of June. That is the majority of the total number. So another official fact is that more women than men lost their jobs," said Milos Vukovic, the author of the research.
The acquired economic independence of female population, warns Vukovic, can become a silent victim of a pandemic.
"The largest increase in unemployed women is in the category of 31 to 40 years, almost a thousand less employed women. As you can see, COVID19 hit the younger female population the hardest," Vukovic pointed out.
The following data does not leave room for optimism either.
"The category of unemployed women looking for work for up to a year, meaning the number of short-term unemployed, has risen by almost 40 percent. It is just the beginning of the COVID19 impact, February-June. We can expect this situation to be even worse next year," he said. Vukovic.
The drop in net earnings for the four months of the virus's operation totals as much as 2.34 million euros.
Here, too, says Vukovic, we have an unequal impact on the female population.
While wages fell in the area of accommodation, agriculture, and trade, there was an increase in health care.
"Private individuals and private companies fired workers, especially women, much faster than women who were in the public sector," Vukovic said.
Society cannot function without unpaid work and care in the household. However, in Montenegro, women are in the lead because as many as 90 percent of them spend at least one hour a day in unpaid care.
"Women earned 122 million euros in cash in three months of the pandemic. That's not money - we expressed in money the value of unpaid work and household care, which is as much as 92 percent more than men," said Danijela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro.
It is estimated that a woman born in Montenegro will spend at least eight years of her life doing unpaid work.
The UNDP warns that the data are an alarm for decision-makers.
TV Vijesti on UNDP research:
Text by Danilo Ajkovic