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WB, EU: Men in Azerbaijan earn more than women on average 

"Men in Azerbaijan earn 35.2% more than women on average. This is one of Europe and Central Asia's highest reported pay gaps," a joint statement issued by Sarah Michael, the World Bank's Country Manager for Azerbaijan, and Peter Michalko, the EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan, on International Women's Day, said, Report informs.

The statement reads:

"Although there are relatively small gender gaps in the labor market in Azerbaijan when female and male employment rates are compared in absolute terms, there is a stark divide between where and what men and women do for work in Azerbaijan. Women tend to work lower-wage careers, e.g., in health and education, while men dominate better-remunerated fields, such as transport and storage, energy, or construction. This workplace segregation, which was exacerbated by legal restrictions, contributes to a high gender pay gap in Azerbaijan. Until recently, women in Azerbaijan were not permitted to work in as many as 674 jobs across many sectors of the economy – from transport to energy to agriculture. For example, women could not lay asphalt, work as train engineers, or drive a city bus with more than 14 seats. Women were legally prohibited from being hired into a wide array of jobs that involved working underground, potentially hazardous work, and hard physical labor. These restrictions, inherited from the laws of the former Soviet Union, were likely intended to protect women's health but were not necessarily based on a risk assessment for each job. Moreover, they did not consider advancements in technology and changes in the nature of work and occupational health conditions over the past decades.

"In November 2022, Azerbaijan repealed these job restrictions on women's employment, working with the World Bank to show that these roles posed no specific threat to women's health. Instead of across-the-board restrictions, the new rules adopt a health risk-based approach to certain jobs. This welcome development will benefit the economy and society at large and can yield gains for everyone, not just women."

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