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Equality between sexes theory, not reality

SLOVAK laws state that men and women should be given equal opportunities. In practice, however, there is room for improvement, according to the authors of a report called Equality of Opportunities of Women and Men.

The authors, Janka Debrecéniová and Zuzana Očenášová, 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 out that the term "sexual harassment" is still missing from Slovak laws.

The report criticizes Slovakia for having only one ministerial section dealing with gender issues. In Estonia, for instance, there is a special commissioner for the area; Lithuania has an ombudsman; and Poland has a special cabinet plenipotentiary representing gender issues.

A survey carried out by the Institute for Public Affairs, a Bratislava-based think tank, 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 than their male counterparts. In 2002, university educated women earned 65 percent of what their male counterparts took home.

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