STA, 8 March 2022 - Calls against a deteriorating situation of women in society will be in the spotlight of this year's International Women's Day events in Slovenia. A number of events are planned, including a rally in Ljubljana at which NGOs and trade unions will highlight inequalities in various fields and call for respecting women's rights.
The rally will call for a decent minimum wage as well as for teaching about gender stereotypes at school and expanding screening programmes to more age groups.
Calls to parties to field women candidates in their traditionally electable districts for the April general election will also be made, Women's Lobby head Ana Kalin has told the STA.
"New parties, which still don't know in which districts they can win a seat in parliament, should make sure the share of women on lists of candidates is 50%," she says.
It is important that Slovenian law sets down quotas, but this is not enough to ensure that more women are elected to parliament, she says.
This issue will be debated by National Council, the upper chamber of parliament, which will host a panel on women's participation in politics.
At the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, the Days of Gender Equality will open featuring a number of events focussing on equal rights and opportunities until 13 April.
The City of Women will give out the Women about Women award, which is conferred on "women for fighting for a better world".
The STA and the commission for equal opportunities in science, a Ministry of Education advisory body, will host an online discussion on women scientists in the media.
Work-life balance will be in the focus of an event organised by the ZSSS confederation of trade unions to present a review of this concept in collective bargaining agreements.
Minister Janez Cigler Kralj said the view of the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities is that the "acquired women's rights are untouchable" while the ministry also gives special attention to measures leading to a more equal labour market, including work-life balance.
The war in Ukraine has strongly affected the lives of women, which calls for being even more aware of the importance of women in society, he added in a message.
Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina on the other hand said education and awareness raising is key to enhance gender equality as women are still prevalent in low paid jobs, there are too few in leadership positions, while they also often face violence.
He welcomed last year's redefinition of rape to reflect only-yes-means-yes international standards, urged safeguarding the rights previous generations acquired and cautioned against "shifts towards retraditionalisation".
Mira, the women writers' section of the Slovenian PEN, warned that female writers are not equally represented in the curricula and the texts at high school leaving exams. "Teaching literature without including female authors is misleading and wrong," reads its 8 March message, signed also by several well known authors and artists, members of PEN, the Association of Libraries and the Women's Lobby.
The Nurses and Midwives Association highlighted the fact that in Slovenia, women account for over 85% of all employees in this sector while they have little say in deciding on health policy. Apart from improving working conditions and pay, a better work-life balance should be secured and career development enabled.
In a statement before International Women's Day, SOS Telephone, a helpline for victims of domestic violence, said that women's rights are constantly violated, which can lead to femicides.
Statistics show that an average women in Slovenia, one of the four EU members with more men than women, was 45.1 years old in 2021, almost 3 years more than an average man and almost 2 more than in 2011.
Nearly 30% of women in Slovenia have completed tertiary education; the share has been larger than the share of men with tertiary education ever since 2011.
Life expectancy for girls born in Slovenia in 2020 is 83.4 years, which compares to 77.8 years for boys.
Early Statistics Office figures show that an average monthly gross pay in 2020 was just over EUR 1,900 for women and EUR 1,955 for men.
Preliminary Eurostat figures meanwhile show that the pay gap in Slovenia in 2020 was among the narrowest in the EU-27, at 3.1%.
The initiative to celebrate a day dedicated to women was given at an international conference of socialist women in Copenhagen in 1910 by German communist Clara Zetkin.
The day was first marked in 1911 in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark, but on different days. The same year it was marked in the Slovenian city of Trbovlje.
In 1977, the UN General Assembly declared 8 March International Women's Day in remembrance of the day in 1857 when textile workers in New York protested against inhumane working conditions and low wages.