Austria – the „Macho-Paradise“
Austria is actually known as a very well developed, modern and forward-looking country. For example, in topics such as education or human rights, Austria always has been an ideal for other countries. But when it comes to gender equality Austria is everything else than an ideal. For example, you won’t find women in top-positions of bigger companies or as a director of an university or a court. Nobody would ever dare to say that they think that women are not smart enough to work in leading positions. But in the brains of many Austrians the old stereotypes are still fixed. Regarding the salary gap Austria has very bad results in all international studies. As the World Economic Forum published in the “Gender Gap Report” in 2010, the salary gab between men and women in Austria is bigger than in the rest of the European Union. In this report Austria was only ranked on the really embarrassing 104th rank. (134 countries were ranked!!) For instance, even the muslim country Indonesia is ranked before Austria. Only countries such Nicuragua or the Arabian Emirates had worse results. Compared to the other European states, only in Estonia the salary gap between men and women is bigger.
All of the other 26 countries have better results. Even countries like Spain and Italy, which are actually known as so-called “Macho-countries”, have better results.
But while in all other countries the salary gap is getting smaller and smaller, the gap in Austria instead is getting bigger! Can you imagine that?
Some say that this is the late effect of the mixture of catholic traditions and the national socialistic view of women in the Second World War. But however, in my opinion a country like Austria shouldn’t have such bad results! From the day of their birth, girls and boys have the same education. Girls as well as boys, have to attend the kindergarten, the primary school, the secondary modern school and a higher vocational school if they want to go to university. And again, girls as well as boys have to attend the university for 3 years to get their Bachelor’s degree and 2 more years to get the Master’s degree. So as you can see, everybody – men and women – has to go the same long and exhausting way. But why women still don’t earn the same amount of money for exactly the same work? Some people say that women are not self-confident enough and “sell” themselves under their value. Probably, that may be true in some cases but most of the time it’s still a matter of discrimination. And exactly for that there should be a special law, which protects women from discrimination and self-underestimation!