Analysis and Debate Day

On ‘Analysis and Debate Day’, we had a special guest – Miss Lubica Rozborova- who talked to us about the Human rights perspective on gender equality.

She focused her intervention on rights of women in Slovakia, emphasizing the different situation of women and men on the Slovak labour market.

High employment of women is elicited by the economic necessity of dual‑income model of households, as well as, by social and cultural environment of the country. Women want to be employed. Employment enables them to be independent. Pay differences between the two genders, however, have become a popular topic of these days. The average wage of women in Slovakia is by 24% lower than the average wage of men: substantial differences between men’s and women’s salaries were noticeable especially in banking and communications professions.

The pay difference itself, however, does not necessarily mean discrimination. Three principles can be compared here: equal pay for equal work, equal pay for work of equal value and equal job opportunities for all, irrespective of gender.

The situation for women in employment is clearly deteriorating.

The picture in political participation, one of the most important aspects of citizenship, is no better.  Compared to other European countries, women in Slovakia were granted the right to vote relatively early, immediately after the formation of the Czechoslovak Republic in October 1918. Yet the right of women to be elected and to participate in the formulation of government policy has yet to be satisfactorily secured or implemented. Before 1989, quotas were in place requiring a 30% proportion of women on lists of election candidates.  As a result, more than 20% of parliamentarians were women.  After 1990, the figure was 12%. After intense public debate on equal opportunities and pressure from non- governmental organizations, the figure rose after the 2002 elections, but only to 19.3% and women’s participation in the executive branch has declined after these elections. By comparison, in most EU member states, the ratio of women in the cabinet exceeds one third and in many it is approaching parity. The situation is the same or even worse at the regional level of the state administration and in regional and municipality administration.

The status of women in the public life of the society and their involvement in managerial functions represent an area in which hidden discriminatory tendencies against women and inequality between women and men are reflected most profoundly, so an increased participation of women in managing the society and in managing public affairs either directly or through free selection of their representatives is thus strategic aim of women.

Representation of women in political life is understood as insufficient.  There are currently 21 women deputies in the Parliament of the total 150 deputies, which means women representation at 14% and there are 2 women ministers in the Cabinet of Slovakia, ie 10%. Programs aiming at increasing the representation of women in political life and in decision taking positions are being prepared.

In its further policy in the area of equality and equal opportunities of women and men the Government of Slovakia plans to adopt measures building on and implementing as broadly as possible conclusions of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and of the UN General Assembly 23rd Special Session.

After such a presentation, we had a break with coffee and tea and then we had a very interesting activity called World Cafe – workshop discussing the Human Rights perspectives.

This activity was very rewarding because the brainstorming helped us to learn new things from the others talking on many topics  such as abortion, private violance, homosexuality, maternity, multiple discrimination and so on.


 
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