Women in Brazil earn 20.5 percent less than men: statistics agency

A seller displays hair extensions at a hair shop in a local market in Rio de Janeiro November 17, 2012. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Women in Brazil earned 20.5 percent less than men on average in 2018, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday, a narrower gap than the previous year but still wider than the industrialized world average.

Released on International Women’s Day, the figures showed that women between 25 and 49 years old earned an average monthly salary of 2,050 reais ($530) last year, equivalent to 79.5 percent of men’s average 2,579 reais.

This marks a gradual narrowing in recent years. In 2017 the gender pay gap was 21.7 percent, and five years ago it was 24.4 percent, according to IBGE figures.

The gap last year was narrower in younger age brackets. For workers aged between 25 and 29 years the average earnings gap was 13.1 percent, rising to 18.4 percent in the 30-39 year old bracket and 25.1 percent in the 40-49 year old bracket.

The only sector where women earned the same as men was in the armed forces and military police, IBGE data showed. Indeed, they earned 0.7 percent more, on average.

According to The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s latest figures the median gender pay gap across 41 industrialized countries is 13.8 percent, and only six countries have a gap wider than 20 percent.

A World Economic Forum index published in January ranked Brazil 95 out of 149 countries in terms of gender pay equality.

Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Susan Thomas