Nine out of ten employees and all employers taking part in a survey acknowledge the existing gender inequality in the labour market, in Cyprus, while 86% of those questioned are convinced that discrimination incidents are more common among women.
The results of according to a research on “Gender Discrimination in Employment in Cyprus”, commissioned by the Gender Equality in Employment and Vocational Training Committee were presented on Tuesday during a press conference, in Nicosia, by Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou and Committee President, Louiza Christodoulidou Zannetou.
The research, conducted by IMR/ University of Nicosia, also found that four out of ten believe that there is a pay gap disfavouring women, while the majority of those questioned says their supervisors are male, a phenomenon more frequently encountered in the private sector. At the same time, 80% say they would accept a woman in a supervisory position.
According to the main findings, eight out of ten employees believe that male and female employees are treated equally by their supervisors while there is a universal dismissal of the “theory” that decision making positions are reserved for men only, with 96% saying this is not true.
Four out of ten female employees, mainly in the private sector, say they encountered gender-related problems. Moreover, two out of ten female employees say they have experienced sexual harassment in their workplace, the overwhelming majority however (78%) stated that they filed no complaint over the incident.
Access to employment, professional advancement and access to decision-making centres are the areas where respondents say gender inequality is stronger.
Flexible hours is the measure deemed to be more appropriate to help bridge the gap between personal life and professional life.
Asked to what extent there is gender inequality in employment and vocational training in Cyprus, 39% of respondents said this exists to a sufficient degree, 35% to a small degree, 18% to a large degree and 8% not at all.
Speaking during the press conference, Minister Emilianidou said that promoting gender equality in employment is one of her Ministry’s top goals. This is implemented by monitoring the relevant legislation by the competent departments of Labour and of Labour Relations, she added.
From her part, Zannetou said that equality is not safeguarded only through legislation, but it also requires awareness among employees, in order for them to know their rights and to feel that the state provides them with the necessary mechanisms and support to file complaints over incidents that are not appropriate in the workplace.