President of the Republic of Lithuania

The President: Comprehensive solutions are needed for real gender equality in the EU

2010-06-21

Monday, June 21, Vilnius - Only comprehensive solutions towards gender equality in Lithuania and the whole European Union will produce the results we seek and value, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė said, making an opening address at an international conference organised by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

"Equality between women and men is a fundamental right and a common value of the European Union. The European Parliament and Council places a special focus on gender equality. For this purpose, a new European institution has been created - the European Institute for Gender Equality - with its seat in Vilnius. I am happy and proud that the best gender equality experts from across Europe will work and share their knowledge here in Lithuania and that their work, both practical and theoretical, will contribute in a major way to our joint efforts towards genuine, not assumed, gender equality," President Dalia Grybauskaitė said.

According to the President, the European statistics of many years show that there are many still unresolved issues in this field. Women continue to earn almost 18 percent less than men for every hour worked. The employment rate of female university graduates is lower than men's, although women represent a majority of students. Women continue to carry a disproportionately large share of household chores. Domestic violence and the risk of poverty, even though they relate to both genders, are higher for women.

The President pointed out that it was not by chance that Lithuania became the first country among the Baltic States to host a European agency. Much has been done in Lithuania to achieve equality between women and men, starting with relevant legal aspects, gender mainstreaming, and ending with specific measures to improve the actual situation of women. "We already have visible results. Women's employment has increased over the past several years and some data show that it has exceeded that for men. The gap between salaries earned by men and women for the same work has narrowed considerably. In Lithuania, women are better represented than men among bachelor's, master's and doctorate graduates. They are active in state building and governance, and their involvement in business and public life has deepened and broadened," the President said.

The President called these developments most welcome, but underlined that a lot of effort was yet to be made to translate positive tendencies into a standard of Lithuanian and EU life. She invited non-governmental organizations working in human rights, education, employment, health care, and other fields to engage more actively in joint action.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2010.06.21 09:23

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