Report: Venezuelan Women Need Ten Days’ Minimum Wage Salary to Afford a Haircut

A cashier counts Venezuelan bolivar notes at a street market in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Women in Venezuela would now need ten days’ worth of minimum wage salary just be able to afford a haircut, latest economic figures reveal.

Despite three minimum wage hikes over the course of 2017, the minimum wage in Venezuela is now 97,531 bolivars a month, equivalent to under $6 a month. Since 2010, the currency has lost over 99.99 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar.

Meanwhile, the price of haircuts in the crisis-stricken country has also risen exponentially in recent months, now costing approximately 30,000 bolivares a month, equal to ten days of minimum wage work.

“Us Venezuelans like to keep ourselves orderly, keeping our nails and toes painted and our hair well cut, we consider it part of our personal hygiene,” a woman named Mariana told El Nacional. “In the past, I could go to the beauty parlor regularly, but now I have to do it myself as I could never be seen with gray hairs.”

“You have to prioritize your spending,” another woman, named Ana Maria told the outlet. “But there are times when I simply do not have enough money.”

The crisis in Venezuela has now reached a breaking point, with millions of people living in abject poverty as a result of skyrocketing rates of inflation that have left the country with chronic shortages of basic resources such as food and medicine.

Meanwhile, sanitary products such as shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper, and tampons are also in short supply, with many forced to ration their usage.

An annual survey on Venezuelan living conditions in May also revealed nearly 75 percent of respondents lost an average of 19 pounds unintentionally in the past year, while 82 percent of households live in poverty. Many people have been forced to cut key proteins from their diets, such as meat, dairy, and fruit.

The country is also facing a widespread political crisis following the creation of a fraudulent law making body referred to as the “national constituent assembly” by socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro, as he seeks to further tighten his grip on power.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a new an Executive Order imposing further economic sanctions on the Maduro regime, banning Americans from dealing in Venezuelan government debt or that of its state-run oil company.

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