The Pension Gender Gap: Czech Women Earn Less Pension Than Men

In recent news, it has been revealed that Czech women receive around 2,461 CZK less pension than men. This disparity is primarily due to lower incomes during their working years. Consequently, most women face financial difficulties after the death of their partner.

The pension gap between genders was even more comprehensive in the past. However, introducing a child-rearing allowance, predominantly received by women for each child they raise, has significantly reduced the difference. Other factors contributing to the disparity include women retiring earlier than men, resulting in fewer working years, and persistently lower wages for women, even in the same position.

According to Eurostat, the average income difference between men and women in the Czech Republic is approximately 17.9%. This gap is partly due to maternity and parental leave, during which women often pause their career progression for several years. The average duration of parental leave for men in OECD countries is 13 weeks, whereas in the Czech Republic, it’s only two weeks.

Financial challenges may increase for women who do not own their home. With average rents costing 295 CZK per square meter (400 in Prague and 329 in Brno), a 45-square-meter apartment can cost an average of 13,275 CZK per month. While women who have lost their husbands are entitled to a widow’s pension, single or divorced women must rely solely on their retirement.

There are limited options for pensioners to increase their income. One is part-time work, but this is often only possible up to a certain age. Another option is saving for old age, but this, too, comes with its own risks.

In conclusion, the pension gender gap is a complex issue with deep-rooted societal and financial factors. Addressing this issue requires comprehensive reforms focusing on equal pay and opportunities and considering the unique challenges women face during their working and retirement years.