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Ministry report points to gender inequalities in Slovakia

Women in Slovakia earn less and have lower pensions than men, they participate less in politics and are not so often seen in upper management positions, reads the summarising report on gender equality in Slovakia, which was approved by the government on April 8.

Women in Slovakia earn less and have lower pensions than men, they participate less in politics and are not so often seen in upper management positions, reads the summarising report on gender equality in Slovakia, which was approved by the government on April 8.

The report, drafted by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, deals with gender equality in nine areas, such as social policy and health, education, participation in public life, family and working life, research and media,as well as violence against women, the TASR newswire wrote.

The average gross salary paid to women in 2007 was €608.80, while it was €820.70 for men representing a gender-based salary difference of 25.8 percent. Women received some 20 percent less in average old-age pensions than men (€286.20 comparing to €330.80).

Women also more often draw social benefits and they are more often registered as long-term unemployed. The report implies that women's participation in all spheres of exercising power is low and does not correspond with the principle of a gender-sensitive society.

Political participation in decision-making processes at the national level is low. Women make up only 20 percent of the Slovak parliament and, in the 16-member government, there is only one minister - Labour Minister Viera Tomanová – or 6 percent representation.

“Moreover, all the top political posts, such as the president, prime minister and parliamentary chair are currently held exclusively by men in Slovakia,” reads the report.

The ratio is a bit better when it comes to Slovak members of the European Parliament when in 2004 five women were elected among the 14 MEPs, or 35.7 percent.

At the regional level, none of the eight Regional governments in Slovakia is led by a woman and there is only a 14.3 percent representation in local governments. When it comes to the position of mayor of towns and villages, 20.7 percent of the officials are women.

The government approved a new National Strategy on Gender Equality for 2009-2013 on April 8 in tandem with the report. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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