Gender Gap: Italian Women and Economic Independence

Being economically independent is extremely important for the majority of women in Italy, but only 4 out of 10 consider themselves completely independent.

On average, the monthly value given by women to be economically independent is 1778 euros: higher values are found within single mothers with children and lower values in South Italy and in the Isles. In 64% of Italians families the male partner is the one earning more, but women (66%) are more responsible for the purchases.

This is what emerges from the latest BVA Doxa research for eToro, and it focuses on the economic situation of Italian women.

According to Eurostat, the gender gap between man and women in Italy is around 5%, way below the European average (14,8%)[1]. However, Italian women with a job represent 42,1% of the total working population and 56,2% of the total Italian women (vs. 75,1% of men)[2].

In this context, economic independence is a central factor for Italian women, but only a minority group can consider themselves completely independent. If we considering the domestic economy, women prevail over men, despite the fact that the majority earn less than their partners. This is what emerges from the latest BVA Doxa research for eToro, which analyzed the economic situation of Italian women.

BEING ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDENT IS VITAL, BUT ONLY 40% OF WOMEN CAN CONSIDER THEMSELVES SO – Economic independence is a central factor in the life of Italian women. On a scale of importance ranging from 1 to 10, 89% of the interviewees rate economic independence between 8 and 10. On average, among those who rate being independent as highly important, there are single women responsible for their children (9.6), women living in the North-West area (9.3) and groups made up of those who have a full-time employment contract (9.3) and have rent to pay (9.3).

Besides the importance given, how many are the women who can really say they are economically independent? Research shows that 78% of women say they are economically independent: this share is made up of 40% of women who say they are completely economically independent and 38% of respondents who admit that they are independent, but with many sacrifices. Full-time workers (59%) and single women responsible for their children (54%) are among those who claim to be completely independent. On the contrary, the less independent Italian women are married or living with children (34%) and mainly reside in the South and the Islands (33%).

HOW MUCH DOES BEING ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDENT COST? – To guarantee for themselves economic independence, Italian women need an average of 1,778 euros per month. However, the amount increases for single women with children (€ 2,060 per month), while it decreases for those residing in the South or in the Islands (€ 1,632) and for women who are not employed (€ 1,521).

MEN EARN MORE, BUT WOMEN ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PURCHASES – In Italy, the most undeniable difference between men and women is observed in the context of the management of the domestic economy. In 64% of cases, it is the male partner who earns more than the woman. In 20% of cases, however, the revenues coincide, while only 16% are women who contribute to the family budget with a higher income. However, the situation is reversed when we examine who is actually involved in the domestic economy. Here the prevalence of women over their partner is significant, with 66% of women directly responsible for purchases versus 5% of men.

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics

[2] https://www.censis.it/sicurezza-e-cittadinanza/donne-lontane-dagli-uomini-e-lontane-dall%E2%80%99europa-il-gender-gap-nel-lavoro

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