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Analysing the opportunity cost of gender inequality in rural areas The study, promoted by CaixaBank, sheds new light on the dual inequalities faced by women in rural areas, highlighting the impact of this gap on our economy.

Gender gap in rural areas

In Spain, the gender gap is even greater in rural communities, where women suffer from a double inequality: that caused by the environment in which they live and that resulting from the fact that they are women. This is particularly evident in three areas: employment, decision-making and work-life balance. In the labour market, temporary and part-time employment is higher for women than for men (8.9 p.p. and 8.6 p.p., respectively). Work-life balance is also a pending issue in the rural world.

Opportunity cost

The report addresses the effects of this gender gap on the Spanish economy. Thus, the opportunity cost of the gender gap in work-life balance in rural areas amounts to €38.5 billion, equivalent to 3.1% of GDP in 2019. To disregard the importance of increased female representation in employment and decision-making roles in rural areas, as well as neglecting to achieve a fair distribution of work-life balance, is to forfeit the opportunity for greater well-being for society as a whole.

With this study, we want to contribute to the social debate on this issue from the perspective of the impact of inequalities between men and women. The report helps us to understand a particularly difficult situation for women in a male-dominated environment, where ageing is more pronounced in women and, as a result, there is a higher rate of dependency.

Juan Alcaraz Chief Business Officer at CaixaBank

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