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More gender equality on paper than in reality

SLOVAK laws state that men and women should be given equal opportunities but in practice there is space for improvement, according to the authors of a report called Equality of Opportunities if Women or Men.

The authors, Janka Debrecéniová and Zuzana Ocenášová, say that the general public knows little about the issue and authorities are inconsistent in pushing for employers to respect the laws in this area, the SME daily reported.

The authors also pointed that the term “sexual harassment” is still missing from Slovak laws.

The report criticizes the fact that in Slovakia there is only one ministerial section dealing with gender issues, based within the Labour Ministry. In Estonia, for instance, there is a special commissioner for the area, Lithuania has an ombudsman, and Poland has a special cabinet plenipotentiary for gender issues.

A survey carried out by the Institute for Public Affairs showed that 82 percent of women and 56 percent of men agree that the position of women in society is worse than that of men.

Women still earn less money than men even in the same professions and with the same level of educational achievement. In 2002, university educated women earned only 65 percent of what their male counterparts earned.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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