14th Aug 2022

New member states criticised for gender policies

A new report has slammed new EU member states for the disparities women face in jobs, wages and political representation.

Bulgaria, Estonia and Slovakia top the bad stakes as the countries with 25 to 30 percent pay gap between men and women - which is almost twice the current EU average of 15 per cent.

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The report by the Open Society Institute argues that the countries took the necessary legal measures to improve gender equality, but these have so far not been "translated into a meaningful impact on the daily lives of men and women".

The survey was presented at the European parliament on Wednesday (4 May).

The paper directed the most criticism at the existing pay gap in the new member states, as it has remained at almost the same level as two years before the 2004 enlargement.

Hardly any women politicians

Having more women in politics is still more of an academic desire in the region rather than a reality.

"While women are slightly more than 50 per cent of the population in Hungary — as in all the region — they make up only 9 per cent of Hungary’s parliament," says the report.

The figures are even worse in cabinet representation, with two women ministers in Lithuania, one in Poland and none in Slovakia.

According to Zita Gurmai, a Hungarian vice-chair of the Parliament’s Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, "These findings show us that we need to drastically increase our efforts to get legally binding EU instruments addressing gender equality in decision-making".

She said more effort should be made to support gender mainstreaming in policies, as the new member states and candidate countries generally consider it as a possible tool to tackle the lack of equality in employment, but tend not to use it in practice.

Draghi's grip on power finally unravels

Italy looked set to lose its highly-respected prime minister Mario Draghi on Thursday, after his attempt to relaunch his grand coalition government ended with right-wing parties joining the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) in deserting him.

Italy back in chaos, as Draghi quits over 5-Star snub

Italy was plunged into fresh political turmoil on Thursday as prime minister Mario Draghi announced his resignation after a key ally within his grand coalition government boycotted a parliamentary vote.

MEP accused of 'disrespecting' female moderator

Some 100 representatives of civil society organisations, including Transparency International EU and Oxfam, accuse German Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer of disrespecting a moderator because she was a woman of colour and want him reprimanded.


Albania's post-communist dream has lessons for Ukraine

Comparisons between post-communist Albania and current-day Ukraine are fascinating — and make many pertinent parallels. Ukrainians have a similar determination to belong to "the rest of Europe" as Albanians.


Finally, the victims of Utøya got a memorial

A legal battle between locals on the one hand and the state and the labour youth organisation on the other side postponed the inception of the memorial in remembrance of the victims of Anders Behring Breivik.

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