Gender equality legislation in the EU

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Gender equality legislation in the EU

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am a master student at the European Institute in Nice (CIFE) and I am writing my master thesis on the gender equality legislation in the EU.
I would love to include some opinions from women NGOs in my thesis!
The countries that I am analysing are:
My questions would be:
- How does the female stereotype develop/change in those countries?
- To what extent are women represented in political decision-making positions?
- In how far is the payment of women at work increasing?
Thank you so much for your help!

IKP Member

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iKNOW Politics's picture

Answers for Slovenia: (all data are quoted from the draft of the new National Gender Equality Plan for Slovenia, 2015 . 2020).
- How does the female stereotype develop/change in  Slovenia?
Before the change of the system from the socialist to the capitalist one,  women and men would say in 95% that for them family and paid job are the most important  and equally valuable things in their lives. Gender equality was a formally proclaimed value of the mainstream politics. After the change of the system in 1990, Catholic Church came to the political scene through the front door together with the conservative parties. They have  started to promote traditional women roles: mother, homemaker, wife, guardian of faith and Slovene nation. .Media, even the public ones, followed suite,especially ridiculing women politicians, accepting their success only in beauty pageants, sports, fashion,   culture, business, but making sure that they and the public do not forget their primary duty of mothers and homemakers.  Young generations today are more conservative than they were in the 80ies of the former century, buying in the concept of their right to choose to be professionals or housewives, even if an average family can not survive with one income.
- To what extent are women represented in political decision-making positions?
For more than  twenty years, (1990-2011)women had a minimum representation in local councils (around 12%), between mayors . from 3.6% in the lower house of the parliament (between 14% and 7,8%) , in the State Council (second house of the parliament - below 5%)) and in the government (around 12% - from 0 to maximum 3 women ministers) . Only due to the stubborn advocacy of women across all walks of life in a big coalition formed in 2001,  using the sandwich strategy before EU accession, political party leaders gave in and in 2004 changed the constituton, allowing for positive  measures on the candidate lists. The measures came into power gradually, and were all in place only in he third electoral cycle after enactment.    For European election the minimum 40% for both sexes and one of the less represented sex in the first half of the lists from 2004 on, on  all lists, for local elections the minimum of 40% and the zipper in the first part of the list from 2014, and 35% for the lists for the lower house of the parliament  from 2008 on, where no placing rules are possible due to the fact that Slovenia has 88 uni-nominal electoral districts, grouped on 8 lists with 11 candidates.Legal  quota for  all sorts of  boards will be prepared and ready for the parliamentary procedure and might well be enacted till the end of 2015.
The elections for the upper house are not direct and no quota rules are foreseen. The same goes for the government and mayors.
The situation improved a lot for local councils, where we have now 31,8% of women councilors, legal qouta combined with the strong pressurefrom civil society brought  3 women MEPs  out of 8 MEPs from Slovenia (37,5%),  pressure from the women's movement,   combined with the success of the bran  new political parties,  brought in 2014, in  the lower house of the parliament  35,6% of WMPs. The presence of women within the last government, elected in 2014, has also grown to 41,2%. The representation of women in the boards of listed companies is at 15%, low but  higher than  EU average, we have only 7.5 % of women mayors after the last local elections in 2014.There is no warranties that the positive trends will be there for ever, legal positive measures in electoral legislation are not strong enough to keep these figures constant. Women movements is in constant advocacy action to strengthen legal  positive measures  in the way to get parity in all decision making bodies.
- In how far is the payment of women at work increasing?
In Slovenia, pay gap has never been very high, in average it has been between 8% and 2% in the last 20 years. Women in Slovenia mostly work full time, average wage is barely enough for the survival.It seems that there is no space for the pay gap!. In the crises times, after 2008, pay gap has diminished due to the fact that the men have lost their bonuses, not due to the fact that women got better pay. Never the less in some branches gender pay gap is as high as 20% - in banking and insurances, in managerial posts, between medical doctors and professors at the university.
Kind regards, yours Sonja Lokar

Sonja Lokar
Executive Director
CEE Network for Gender Issues
Ljubljana Office