Vice Minister of Social Security and Labour Eglė Radišauskienė: “We are Responsible for the Assurance of Equal Rights and Opportunities for Men and Women both Collectively and as Individuals”

Date

2018 03 14

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Along with representatives of other countries, the Vice Minister of Social Security and Labour Eglė Radišauskienė is currently taking part in the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, held in New York and dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls in the countryside, challenges facing efforts to increase gender equality, and sharing experience in empowering women, especially women who live in the countryside, ensuring access to legal, social and health care services, and protecting them from violence.

“It is my opinion that we should all strive for balance in ensuring the equal rights and opportunities of men and women, both collectively and as individuals. We are all responsible for protecting women from violence both in Lithuania and the Pacific Islands (where as many as 2 out of 3 women are facing such problems); income poverty both in Lithuania and Caribbean countries (where the relevant indicator is currently at 40%); ensuring that that girls in Africa and elsewhere are not forced to marry 70 year old men by their parents, and, finally, that both women and girls have water. We all bear responsibility for this”, emphasised the Vice Minister of Social Security and Labour Eglė Radišauskienė.

During general debates on the Fourth World Conference on Women and the continuity of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, Vice Minister Eglė Radišauskienė emphasised that, “in order to economically empower women and girls in the countryside, it is imperative to implement legal and political measures, promote social inclusion, improve living conditions in rural areas by developing social infrastructure (including day care centres for school-age children and crisis housing for families suffering misfortune and domestic violence), and encourage female leadership and participation in decision-making.”

According to the Vice Minister, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, social partners, and communities all play an important role in reducing disparities between men and women in all areas of activity, and monitoring the gender perspective in municipalities.

Giving a speech at the Session, Eglė Radišauskienė claimed that Lithuania is currently engaged in the implementation of a variety of programmes and projects designed to increase the empowerment of women and girls in the countryside, encourage equal opportunities in the area of employment and work, increase business opportunities for women in the countryside, promote female leadership,  and support projects which implement the principle of equal treatment of men and women in the countryside.

The 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is attended by representatives of United Nations member states, other subjects of the United Nations, and accredited non-governmental organizations.

According to statistics, at the beginning of 2017 women in the countryside accounted for nearly 17% of the Lithuanian population. Women outnumbered men by 223,500 (there were 1,535,700 women and 1,312,200 men in total), while the countryside population was comprised of 478,300 women and 458,500 men. On average, Lithuanian women live 10.5 years longer than men. At the end of 2017, the employment rate in the countryside was 44% for women and 49% for men.