Age and Gender in the South CaucasusCategory Age Work Health
In many countries around the world women tend to outlive men. Globally the life expectancy is about five years longer for women, and the share of women among those above 85 years old exceeds 64 percent. The economic literature observes that older women tend to be poorer than older men, even in developed countries, and that gender disparities in old age are to a considerable extent driven by the different earnings profiles and labor-force participation histories of men and women.
In the South Caucasus, we observe similar disparities in gender profiles among the elderly as in other countries around the world, with certain notable differences. For example, we observe a much wider earnings gap between men and women in the South Caucasus. Due to pension scheme structure, in Azerbaijan and Armenia, the difference in labor earnings and years of employment also feeds into retirement income disparities. For Georgia, the earnings gap is less significant for pensionable income since pension compensation does not predominately depend on labor-market status or wage. Nevertheless, the fact that women outlive men by nearly eight years in Georgia contributes to their greater vulnerability to the other negative impacts associated with ageing.
In this policy brief we review compare the global gender and age-related trends to those observed in the South Caucasus. We highlight the policy solutions that may mitigate some of the risks associated with ageing for women in the South Caucasus countries.