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Two thirds of Lithuanians do not consider gender inequality serious problem

Vyras ir moteris
123RF nuotr. / A man and a woman.
Šaltinis: BNS

Two thirds (67 percent) of Lithuanians do not consider gender inequality a serious problem, making the country stand out among other European Union member states, a recent survey has shown.

The Eurobarometer survey for the European Parliament reveals that on average, 53 percent of EU residents believe gender inequality is a serious or very serious problem.

79 percent of Spaniards consider gender inequality a serious or very serious problem, followed by French (71) and Romanians (67). Only 19 percent of Finns believe it to be a serious and very serious problem, followed by Estonians (22), Bulgarians (24), Danes (25) and Czechs (27), according to a statement by the European Parliament.

Nevertheless, only 44 percent of Lithuanians are of the opinion that the level of gender inequality in Lithuania has had a tendency to decrease over the last decade (60 percent of all Europeans believed so), and 32 percent of Lithuanian people believe gender inequality has increased increase.

Violence against women as the main gender inequality-related problem in Lithuania (and the whole of Europe) was mentioned by as many as 60 percent of Lithuanians and 48 percent of Europeans mentioned, followed by pay gap (43 and 41 percent respectively), and women trafficking and prostitution (36 and 40 percent respectively).

22 percent of Lithuanians and 23 percent of Europeans believed unequal role distribution in families was a serious problem. On the other hand, in comparison with the EU average, fewer people in Lithuania believed a small number of women in executive positions was a serious problem (12 and 30 percent respectively), followed by a small number of women in politics (13 and 23 percent respectively) as well as sexist stereotypes (4 and 13 percent respectively).

Still a long way to go

European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), based in Vilnius, quotes several facts, pointing to wide gaps between men and women even in professional fields as allegedly women-friendly as education, culture, and the arts.

Women head only 10 percent of Europe's most visited museums.

Of the EU participants in the Venice Biennale 1999-2011, mere 27 percent were female.

In eight European countries (Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK), only 12 percent of art lecturers are women.

Even though 59 percent of all university graduates are women, professorial staff is 82 percent male.

"Facts and figures from culture, art, and education show that there's still a long way to go towards gender equality in these areas... Several years ago, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said that greater equality between men and women was beneficial to individuals, the economy and the society at large. It's an important fact that underlies our work and that needs to be constantly reminded," EIGE director Virginija Langbakk said.

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