Shaping fair cities

SDG 5 local context in Poland

The Sustainable Development Goal nr 5 (gender equality) in Poland, according to Central Statistical Office

In September 2020, Central Statistical Office in Poland has prepared first digital publication called „Poland on the way to substainable development. Report 2020”, remembering 5th anniversary of signing the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development by Polish representatives.

The division of publication goes in alignment with division of Sustainable Development Goals. The goals have been divided into 5 „P” goals: people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnership. In this article, we are going to focus on SDG no 5.

First of all, in Poland, as in other EU countries, inequalities between the situation of people of different sexes are visible, among others, in the labor market, in spite of higher level of education of women. Women are more likely to continue their education at the academic level. More than half of women aged 30-34 reached higher education, whereas only 40% of men did so. Women, however, choose different fields of study. Three times more often than men, they study pedagogy, humanities and social sciences (22% of female students, compared to 8% of men), and twice less often in science and technology (9% of women as compared to 17% of men).

The advantage of women in terms of the level of education does not translate into their equal opportunities for employment. Along with the general improvement of economic conditions, the situation of women in the labor market has changed and is better than at the beginning of the decade. Still, the employment rate in working age among women is lower than among men (70% compared to 79%), and the unemployment rate of women in the same age group is higher than the unemployment rate for men (4% compared to 3%).

Women are more likely than men to withdraw from the labor market completely, mostly because of caring duties. Among women from the range 25 to 59, 23% are economically inactive - less than in 2010 (28%), but still more than in case of men (11%). The cause of economic inactivity of women in 64% of cases is caring for children, seriously ill adults or other personal or family obligations (among economically inactive men it is only 16% of cases). The percentage of economically inactive women due to caring responsibilities is one of the highest in the EU and shows an upward trend.

Working women in Poland receive on average 9% lower wages than men. This is a smaller disproportion than in the entire EU (where it amounts to 16%), however, contrary to the general trend in the region, it has doubled since 2010. The greatest differentiation is, among others between people working in finance and insurance, and in information and communication, where women earn 30% less than men. On the other hand, more than men (5% -8%) are paid for work by women employed in transport, storage and construction.

Women in Poland, as in other countries, take an active part in economic and political life less than men, although they are present there more often than at the beginning of the decade. They occupy over 46% of senior management positions (slightly more than in 2010), but still the higher the management level, the smaller the female representation.

Also in political life, the presence of women in Poland is lower than that of men, although it has clearly increased since the beginning of the decade. This was due to, inter alia, legal regulations which, since 2011, have guaranteed women at least 35% of places on the electoral lists to the local government, the Sejm and Senate, and the European Parliament. Women now occupy 28% of the seats in the Sejm and Senate, while in 2010 it was 18%. However, it is still slightly less than the EU average, where women hold nearly 32% of seats in national parliaments.

To sum up, there are some significant trends in terms of gender equality in Poland. The situtation of women got better in many fields, yet there is a plenty of things to do to make figures higher. We do hope that gender equality remain more important for future government, as the role of women remain to be seen in rather conservative way by policymakers.

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last modified 2020-10-26T15:31:53+01:00
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