There are many gender inequities in Ukraine, the most glaring of which has always been a significant difference in retirement age for men and women. While women can retire at the age of 55, men have to wait until the age of 60 to be able to do the same. Taking into account that life expectancy for women is 12 years longer than for men and that many men don’t even get to live until the age of sixty, this difference in the age of retirement is nothing but sexist.
If you believe that such sexist differences in retirement age somehow benefit women, you couldn’t be more mistaken. For one, women are considered hopelessly old and useless by the time they reach 55. On the other hand, they still work because one can’t live on the meager pensions. The problem is that, once they pass the retirement age, nobody will hire them for good, well-paying positions. They have to content themselves with working in unofficial capacities, plagued with fear that the fact they still work is about to come out.
Now, however, the IMF has forced Ukraine to bring the retirement age for men and women into sync. People will now retire at 60, irrespective of their gender. In Russia, where the IMF holds no sway, the gender-skewed attitude to retirement inherited from the USSR still persists.
It’s great to see the IMF do something good for a change. Obviously, the IMF isn’t making Ukraine do this because it cares about feminism. This, however, is completely unimportant, given that the result of these policies will benefit the cause of gender equality immediately.