Czech Offices Fail to Meet Tasks to Boost Women in High Positions
Prague, July 23 (CTK) – Czech ministries and other authorities fail to meet more than a half of the measures the government previously set to raise the share of women in politics and leading positions, it ensues from a report on the observance of the government’s gender equality strategy in 2016.
The cabinet failed to push through legislation binding political parties to complete gender-balanced lists of election candidates, soften the “vertical segregation” in state administration and boost women’s share in company managements, says the report the cabinet is to discuss on Monday.
The Czech Republic has long been criticised at home and abroad for a low representation of women in the leadership of the state, offices and business companies.
The critics include the Council of Europe and the U.N. committee for fighting discrimination against women, which has called on the Czech Republic to take temporary measures to raise women’s share in politics and in decision making.
According to the strategy the centre-left cabinet approved in late 2014, the state and companies’ leaderships should include at least 40 percent of women.
The cabinet previously proposed that quotas in this respect be obligatorily applied by parties when completing their lists of election candidates, but the plan fell through.
The cabinet had also problem with the EU’s planned directive setting quotas for personnel filling of seats on company boards and supervisory boards.
Following up its gender equality strategy, the government approved a list of concrete measures last year.
According to the report for 2016, completed by the human rights minister’s office, the offices have met only 22 of the outlined tasks. Another 22 have been met partially and as many as 51 remain unfulfilled.
Women make up more than a half of the country’s population. In recent years, they have been more educated than men, making up three fifths of all university graduates.
However, their average pay is 20 percent lower than men’s, as is their old age pension.
There are two women in the current 17-seat cabinet – Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD) and Regional Development Minister Karla Slechtova (ANO).
In the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate, women occupy some 20 percent and 22 percent of seats, respectively.
“Not even in 2016 were the Czech election laws amended to bind political parties to take a more balanced gender representation into account,” the report says.
It says the CSSD and the Greens are the only two parties to have their own, internal rules in this respect.
There are five women, i.e. 24 percent, among the 21 Czech MEPs, which is one of the lowest shares of all. There is a total of 277 female MEPs in the EP, which is 36.9 percent, the report writes.
It says Czech state administration suffers from “a considerable vertical gender segregation.”
In late 2016, women held 31 (28 percent) out of the total 111 posts of deputy ministers and 160 of the total 334 posts of ministry department heads, which means 32 percent, the same figure as in 2015, the report writes.
Women made up 40 percent of the diplomatic corps members in 2016, which was an improvement against 34 percent in 2015.
Nevertheless, 72 percent of foreign missions’ heads were men.
In the Czech Republic, women make up 8.8 percent of high managers of the companies listed on stock exchange, compared with the EU’s 23.3 percent.
“On the international scene, the Czech Republic finished in the third lowest position in this respect,” the report says.
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