TODAY PANAMA, La Prensa – While Panama has an “enviable” economic growth and a high human development, the Central American country still has the challenge of achieving gender equality in the labor market, a senior official of the United Nations said.
Martín Santiago, spoke during a workshop on labotr equality held in Panama City.
In terms of human development, Panama ranked 65th out of 187 countries.
Santiago, however, added that Panama falls to 107th place when ranked on inequality between men and women.
According to the UN, just under 50% of women in Panama are considered economically active, as compared to almost 80% of men.
In terms of economic dependence, 40% of women in rural areas are considered to be economically dependent, compared to 14% of men. In urban areas, the percentages are 28% and 6%, respectively.
Unemployment among women is 5.3%, compared to a rate of 3.3% for men, and women typically earn much less.
Santiago said progress has been made in terms of education, but women still face obstacles in the workforce.
Panama’s Labour Minister Luis Ernesto Carles said that the government is working to address this inequality.
“We have to break the cycle of dependency,” he said. “We have to grow to achieve greater equality.”