From healthcare to the dating scene: Expat women on living in Czechia

We asked our readers to rate their experience living in the Czech Republic as a woman – here is what we found. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.07.2022 12:52:00 (updated on 26.07.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

In a recent poll, we asked you to rate life for women in the Czech Republic and share your experiences. Having received 92 responses, we have put together the results of our multi-dimensional survey on what it is like being an expat woman in Czechia.

Safety in the Czech Republic

Generally, Prague is considered a safe place with low violent crime rates. The results of our survey confirm this notion: 87 percent of women feel safe in the Czech Republic. 

At the same time, over 40 percent of women admit that they have felt unsafe on the streets at night. When it comes to public safety, only 62 percent of women said they have never been harassed in the street or on public transport while 38 percent said they had been. 

Women and the workplace

The issue of gender equality has been a prominent one in the Czech Republic. Women often face several setbacks in their professional careers – from a pronounced pay gap to a lack of women in leadership positions.

Only a third of women believe they make a fair wage compared to male colleagues in the Czech Republic. Meanwhile, 37 percent say they don't and 30 percent don't know how their salaries compare with those of male colleagues.

Regarding opportunities for professional development, 70 percent of women said there are enough opportunities in the country and 30 percent disagree. 

A third of women reported they have felt harassed in the workplace.

Dating in the Czech Republic

Most women rated the local dating scene as "average."

Dating apps turned out to be one of the most popular ways to meet potential partners. Among other ways of meeting new people are introduction through friends, colleagues, and flatmates, as well as visiting bars and speed dating venues. 

We also asked for more specific recommendations in terms of nightlife and going out where one could meet potential love interests. Many recommended bars, cafes, and restaurants, and some suggested cultural events like concerts, festivals, or "anywhere with live music or nice views of the city."

Services and healthcare

While the majority of respondents said Prague (or their Czech cities) has the same level of services they'd get where they are from such as salons, spas, or shopping, 37 percent disagree. 

The healthcare system was rated as average by 34.8 percent, good by 31.5 percent, and very good by 15.7 percent. Only 6.7 percent of respondents were completely dissatisfied and 11.2 percent found it below average.

Gynecology and obstetrics clinics can cause a lot of stress for expat women in the Czech Republic. More than 60 percent said they were comfortable with their gynecologists while a quarter of respondents said they were not.

Culture gap

For the majority of the respondents of our survey, the Czech Republic is more of a "traditional" society than they came from.

When asked if they would recommend dating a Czech man or woman, the answers varied greatly while a leitmotif of traditional values prevailed. Those who wouldn't, say that "Czechs don't prioritize their partners," "the culture is too traditional, women expected to do all the cleaning and cooking and childcare," or "a Czech man is way too stuck in the status quo and traditions." They also pointed out such aspects as "lack of emotional awareness," "different values and understanding of relationships," and "laziness."

At the same time, some said that Czech people seem "very progressive" compared to other Slavic people.

"Czech women are modern, open-minded, beautiful, kind. Czech men – here in the very remote region of Broumovsko – are not nice to date: afraid of anything new, conservative, insecure," said one of the respondents.

"Czech men are a weird mix, macho-ish, mamma-sheltered, shy, passive, and arrogant," said another respondent. 

"They are respectful to women. They don't stare at women and [don't] treat them like a piece of meat," another respondent said, sharing her views on Czech men.

Some also said that "fidelity in relationships is not highly valued in Czech culture, but it is considered basic decency in my culture."

Becoming close friends with someone outside your culture can be sometimes tricky. Indeed, more than half of the respondents say they find it difficult to be friends with Czech women.

Among some of the culture shocks as a woman coming to the Czech Republic have been "chauvinism," "changing surname while getting married," "​​sexist and objectifying dress codes for women in companies," and "the way that mothers rule every aspect of their family lives."

Several women listed the Easter beating tradition (pomlázka) as a great culture shock.

"Everything revolves around men, and if you comment that maybe it would be fair to have some things work in favor of women, the level of selfish aggression you are met with [is high]," says a respondent.

Another woman was surprised at "the number of plastic surgeries women get done and how feminine they want to look and seem."

"Czech girlfriends telling me I should not do things that I want to do (such as consider a breast reduction for health reasons or pursue a Ph.D.) because 'men don't like that,'" one woman commented.

"Once on a train, someone was sitting in a seat, I had reserved. I asked the guy to move, but he pretended not to hear me. Then my boyfriend asked, and he moved. At the same time, another woman had the same problem – only she didn't have a man with her, so she had to find another seat. I have never seen that happen in Denmark," another person said.

While the Czech Republic is a great place for women in many respects – traveling solo, finding career satisfaction, and enjoying a lengthy maternity leave – there is still much work to be done in achieving gender equality.

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