By PT Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, the labor situation of women in recent years is really alarming, since within the capitalist system it is working-class women who bear the brunt. Indeed, the wave of layoffs during the pandemic hurt them the most.
Today these figures, although they have improved, still leave owmen worse off. Despite the economic recovery of the year 2022, only 41% of all women in the total workforce have managed to find work.
For capitalist society, maintaining higher unemployment among women is fundamental to increasing levels of exploitation. Those who do get jobs are willing to receive lower wages, while the rest must take on unpaid work in family homes.
The numbers don’t lie
According to data from the latest continuous employment survey, the general average salary in all categories in the country is 498,000 colones, but for women this average drops to 477,000 colones. But this wage situation is even more violent against women born in another country, since their average salary in all categories is only 296,000 colones.
In general, the wage inequality for women by sector is very wide. For example, in manufacturing, the gross income for men averages 490,000 colones, while for women it is 385,000 colones; in the case of commerce and repair, men earn an average of 417,000 colones, while for women earn 335,000 colones.
It is clear that the capitalists use the oppression of women to pay lower wages and extract more profit from their work. As is evident, when other oppressions are added, such as being an immigrant woman, this exploitation is even greater.
Reduce working hours and maintain wages
According to official data, there are currently 298,000 people out of work, of whom the majority are women, and these people cannot get jobs because the capitalist system itself does not generate more jobs. This is not because of bad luck or lack of desire on the part of those who suffer unemployment.
The working class must propose a struggle to demand that the capitalists reduce the workday to 40 hours a week while maintaining the same salary. That is the best way for us to open more spaces in the companies so that all people can work.