Economic (in-)dependency in relationships

Economic inequalities lance through life realities, areas of life, and different stages in life. They depend on the category of gender and are starting very early on. For example, girls get less pocket money than boys (according to one survey 22 % less). In their working life, women are affected by horizontal and vertical segregation in the job market. This means that women are less hired for high positions and that they get less money for the same amount of work. The gender pay gap shows this discrepancy — earning less for the same amount of work. In 2018, the gender pay gap in the Czech Republic was 20.1 per cent (third place in the EU), and Austria was in 5th place with 19.6 per cent.1 These numbers show the need for action in this respect. Additionally, women work more often in part-time jobs.2 This correlates with reproduction and care work, which is done disproportionately more often by women (housework, child care, other care work).

Under these circumstances and its impacts, work biographies are not without any consequences. Hence, the danger of poverty to single women retirees is a lot higher than to single men retirees. The highest risk of poverty is to single parents, who are mostly women with children.3

If you see these problems as multilayered, the situation will appear even more dangerous for certain groups. For example, a woman with a name that suggests a foreign origin has much lower chances to get a job. Furthermore, if the woman wears a headscarf, it is even more difficult. The discrimination already starts during the application for a job. It influences whether the person is even invited for a job interview.4

It is also important to mention that official statistics are based on the social construction of the binary gender system. The discrimination of LGBTQIA+ people is not even mentioned in these statistics and representations. It is crucial to mention this fact and work on it.5

Economic dependence creates disparities and complicates making self-determined decisions in relationships, which also has an impact on the prospect of leaving violent relationships. Therefore, it is important to promote autonomy and show ways to create it. As a result, relationships can be created more equally. Liberty creates possibilities, and equality supports egalitarian relationships. In this sense, by working on these topics, we prevent violence.

The focus points “I plan my life: Gender norm, income, autonomy” and “Money, power, relationships” offer methods for young people to work on this topic on an individual, structural, and social level for setting active steps for their future.

  1. See Hahn, Alexander: Buben erhalten bereits mehr Taschengeld als Mädchen. Der Standard, 12.7.2020: https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000118589333/buben-erhalten-bereits-mehr-taschengeld-als-maedchen ↩︎

  2. See f. e.: eurostat. Statistics Explained: Gender pay gap statistics: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics; statista: Gender Pay Gap: Verdienstabstand zwischen Männern und Frauen in den Ländern der Europischen Union (EU) im Jahr 2018: https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/151287/umfrage/gender-pay-gap-in-der-eu-2008/; Statistik Austria: Gender-Statistik: https://www.statistik.at/web_de/statistiken/menschen_und_gesellschaft/soziales/gender-statistik/index.html ↩︎

  3. See Statistik Austria: Gender-Statistik. ↩︎

  4. See f. e.: lhag: Studie: Schlechtere Jobchancen für Frauen mit Kopftuch. Der Standard, 20.9.2016: https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000044661181/studie-schlechtere-jobchancen-mit-kopftuch ↩︎

  5. See f. e.: Schönherr, Daniel u. Martina Zandonella: Arbeitssituation von LSBTI-Personen in Österreich.Endbericht. SORA; AK Wien, 2017: https://www.arbeiterkammer.at/infopool/akportal/Studie_Arbeitssituation_von_LSBTI-Personen_in_O_sterreich.pdf ↩︎