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Women emplyees paid 16 per cent less than men in Bulgaria

Date: 09.11.2008

Women workers in Bulgaria got salaries that were 15 to 16 per cent less than those of their male counterparts in 2007, Lilia Abadzhieva of the Labour and Social Policy Ministry was quoted by Bulgarian news agency BTA as saying on November 6 2008.

Speaking in the town of Pleven, central Bulgaria, she said that the rate in 2006 was 18 per cent. Abadzhieva, who heads the ministry's gender equality department, said that Bulgarian women were employed mainly in low-paid sectors of the economy.

She said that the European Commission's recommendations were for EU countries to start encouraging men to start working in these sectors. 
 
This, however, was a difficult task especially in sectors such as education and the public service sector.

Another recommendation was for women to move to more technically orientated sectors of the economy.

One of the sectors which is dominated by women workers is the textile sectors. It has been a source of problems for years, with employers failing to meet their promises, which often leaves workers without pay from months and sometimes years.

The latest example is the case of women employees in the Dounavska Koprina textile factory in the town of Rousse on the Danube. On November 6 2008, they told Bulgarian television channel Nova Televisia that they had not been properly paid since 2001. The management of the company told them that the full amount of the money they owed them was going to be paid in 2019.

The factory went into insolvency in 2001 and since then workers were paid several times of 20, 30 and 50 leva each, they told Nova Televsia. The labour inspectorate was involved in the case but with the factory out of business, little could be done.

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