Ticas Dominate Education, Lack Job Opportunities

July 22, 2005

COSTA Rican women are outperformingmen in the realm of higher education– but, although labor equity here isin better shape than in the rest of LatinAmerica, the opportunities and salariesawaiting Ticas in the workplace don’tappear to match their high level of performance.A recently released World EconomicForum study ranks Costa Rica 18th out of58 countries studied. The country rankedhigh for gender equality in the areas ofpolitical participation, education, healthand economic opportunities.However, according to the 2004 editionof the annual State of the Nationreport, women occupy only 30% of CostaRica’s executive and administrative posts.This is despite the fact that women earn60% of the university degrees grantedhere and advance through primary andsecondary schools faster (60% of thosewho repeat a year of school are boys),according to the National Statistics andCensus Institute (INEC).State of the Nation director MiguelGutiérrez said Costa Rica has advanced agreat deal in female participation in politics,social organizations and education,but pay remains unequal.“Since the previous decade, CostaRica has created enormous windows ofopportunity for women in areas like politics,where today 35% of legislators arewomen, but we should give more recognitionand better compensation for theirlabor,” Gutiérrez said.He added that despite the lack offemale administrators here, Costa Ricancontinues to be one of Latin America’spioneers in this area.Latin American countries that rankedbehind Costa Rica in the study includeColombia (30), Uruguay (32), Argentina(35), Peru (47), Chile (48), Venezuela (49),Brazil (51) and Mexico (52).Sweden received the highest ranking,with a grade of 5.53 out of a possible 7points. Costa Rica received a 4.36 ranking.

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