by Alexandra Jachanova Dolezelova, member of the Czech Women’s Lobby and Vice-President of the European Women’s Lobby
The concluding observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women from October 2010 alert to a persistent lack of special measures for improving the situation of women in the Czech Republic, including with regards to such important issues as discrimination in the labour market or domestic violence.
The Czech Republic occupies the 65th rank of Gender Gap Index 2010 which indicates a rather unsatisfactory state of affairs and the need for sustained efforts to fulfil its international commitments concerning the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. Nevertheless, Czech political representatives and especially the government itself try to persuade the public as well as international institutions that the Czech Republic is nearly a paradise free from discrimination or unequal rights.
Instead of identifying problems and searching for appropriate solutions, the Czech government ignores or even depreciates all gender related issues. Due to this attitude many such issues go unnoticed and hence persist. A good example is violence against women to which is consistently referred as to ‘domestic violence’ and which should – according to the Prime Minister’s adviser – be eliminated by means of support and respect to marriage and the traditional family.
The combination of an indifferent (if not antagonistic) attitude of the Czech government to issues of gender inequality and discrimination together with the effects on women of the so called ‘budget-wise cuts’ lead us to the only possible conclusion: our male-only government is trying to prove that the Czech Republic is not a country for women.
The Czech Women’s Lobby will continue in its effort to promote gender equality in the Czech Republic. For more information, visit www.czlobby.cz