Czech Republic among 14 European countries in violation of right to equal opportunities and pay

Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Helena Valkova said that she considered the European Committee of Social Rights report a warning


Written by ČTK Published on 30.06.2020 09:25:48 (updated on 30.06.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic has violated the European Social Charter by not securing transparency in the remuneration of men and women and their balanced representation in firms’ management, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) said in a report released Monday.

Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Helena Valkova said in reaction that she considered the committee’s decision a warning that the Czech Republic can still improve something in securing equal chances for both genders.

She added that she would like to submit a draft new government strategy of gender equality to the cabinet this autumn.

The European Social Charter is a Council of Europe (CE) treaty on social and economic rights which became effective in 1965. Czechoslovakia signed it in 1992 after the 1989 fall of the communist regime, and its successor state, the Czech Republic, took up its commitments after Czechoslovakia’s split a year later.

The ECSR is observing the charter fulfillment. Its 15 members are elected by the CE’s Committee of Ministers for six years.

The University Women of Europe (UWE) organization complained about the gender pay gap and a low share of women in decision-making posts in the Czech Republic in August 2016.

The ECSR released the result of the respective proceedings today. It unanimously decided that the Czech Republic had clearly violated the Charter’s provision since it did not secure transparency in remuneration and enable comparison of posts in practice. The committee admits that the Czech government has taken some steps, but no visible progress has been reached.

In 2016, women made up 10.1 percent in the biggest firms’ management in Czechia, and in 2019, it was some 18.5 percent, while the EU average is 27.8 percent, the ECSR says. It reminds that the Czech government set a goal to achieve 40 percent of women in decisive positions in both the public and private sectors years ago, but it never adopted the respective legal regulation.

Women have long earned about one-fifth less than men in the Czech Republic on average since they often work in the fields with lower salaries. Besides, maternity leave affects their lower pay. However, some polls show that women are paid less than men in the same posts in Czechia as well.

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