Date of Meeting: 17 March 2017

Meeting Organizer: Czech Republic

ISJC Staff Present: Jessica McKeachie

Reporter: Jessica McKeachie

Which SDG does this topic cover? 5, 17

Type of meeting: CSW Side Event

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Moderator: Ms. Martina Stepankova, Deputy Minister for Human Rights, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic


  • Ms. Radha Maxova, Member of Parliament, Czech Republic
  • Mr. Radan Safalik, Department of Gender Equality, Office of the Government of the Czech Republic
  • Ms. Hana Stelzerova, Czech NGO Czech Women’s Lobby
  • Ms. Jana Malacova, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Radha Maxova – MP Czech Republic – Role of Women and Media

  • Promoting equal rights for women is a comprehensive and difficult task taking place around the world
  • Recognize importance of work with public in interactive way to share and gain information
  • Developments in media and technology means that women are able to share information more easily
    • More women working in media supports this even more
    • Using positive images of both genders and using neutral language
    • BUT also negative impacts – images of violence, pornography and gender stereotypes
  • But still lagging – no women running large media companies in Czech republic
  • Need for strong governmental campaigns to encourage more women in high ranking political positions
  • Need wide public support to move political will forward
  • Have not reached gender equality in 27 years of democracy in Czech – need to continue to move and push forward

Radan Safarik – Department of Gender Equality – Campaign: That’s Equality

  • Campaign running for 2-3 months (still new)
  • Gender equality situation in Czech republic – in 77th position for global gender gap index
    • Economic empowerment and labour market biggest contributor to poor ranking
    • 21% of parliament made up of women, never had a female head of state
  • 2014 government adopted a gender equality strategy (2014 – 2020)
  • That’s Equality Campaign:
    • Domestic violence prevention
      • Motivate survivors to reporting (very low reporting rate and few people seek help)
    • Work life balance  
      • Motivate fathers to take parental leave (currently only 1.8% of men take parental leave)
  • Lessons learned:
    • Focus on limited number of topics
    • Open discussions and cultivate them
    • Engage other stakeholders
    • Use different channels for different target groups
    • For different groups of people different things will work
    • Communication tailored to language and values of target audience
    • Don't give up

Hana Stelzerova – Director of Women’s Lobby (NGO representative)

  • Representing 28 organizations in Czech Republic
  • Feminism doesn’t have a good name in Czech Republic
  • Equal Rights Campaign
    • Continuous work
  • Contextualization of campaign in Czech
    • Violence against women (especially sexual assault)
    • Poverty of Czech women
      • 2 times more likely to fall into poverty than men – retired women receive pension at rate of 1/5th of men
      • Most evident in older women and single parent families
  • Expanding of issues is result of more stakeholders (government getting involved)
    • Government wanted to sign Istanbul Convention (one of the last countries to do it)
  • Need for data and statistics – cooperate with many researchers in network to obtain necessary information
  • Ongoing campaign - Systemic change in Czech obstetrics
    • Right to decide about own bodies
    • Back to normal birth without violence (home births not allowed)
    • Problem – most doctors are men
  • Involvement of Public
    • International support
    • Be part of a bigger movement
    • Issues that affect all women
    • Looking internationally also raises awareness about local issues
    • E.g. Large participation by women in Women’s March to coincide with one in Washington

Jana Malacova, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs – Gender Pay Gap

  • Family policy one of her key policy areas
  • Sound family policy and reconciliation of work and family life is necessary for gender equality
  • Family policy can easily be linked to topics like poverty, effectiveness of social policies
  • Family policy always a priority for government
  • Current government in Czech Republic interested in changing policy:
    • Childcare, involving men into childcare
    • Gender pay gap
    • Reconciliation of family and work life (labour code, new social benefits, more flexible parental leave)

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

Governments are looking for ways to increase gender equality (international pressure is starting to materialize).  Look for ways to engage with governments on issues of equality although the focus doesn’t always have to be solely on “women’s rights.”  Look at the issues and policies of interest to government and then how women’s empowerment could help move those policies/goals forward.  e.g. Governments often concerned about families/the middle class – what policies that empower women could benefit families? Statistics show that gender pay gap is bad for families so policies that assist in reducing the gap not only empower women but also benefit families.

Tags: United Nations, SDG5: Gender Equality, SDG17: Partnerships for the Goals