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Opinions & Interviews

25 Jun 2019

Call for more women in high paying jobs in Belarus

Call for more women in high paying jobs in Belarus

MINSK, 25 June (BelTA) – International experts suggest that Belarus should focus on increasing the number of women in high-paying jobs as the country is implementing a gender-sensitive approach to strategic planning, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki told the media on the sidelines of the forum “Topical areas of gender policy in the context of sustainable development” in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

“The equality of women and men is intertwined with the economic and social policy and sustainable development in demographics. The gender-sensitive approach should be part and parcel of strategic planning and decision-making. Women have huge potential that is underutilized in the country’s economic sector. We are going to focus on employment, in particular, women’s employment in top-tier tech jobs,” Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki said.

In her words, Belarusian women have a good access to healthcare services. Belarus’ system of mother and child healthcare is better than in many countries of Eastern Europe. About 35% of Belarusian MPs are women, which is also something to be proud of. “However, the gender pay gap is as big as 27%. This gap is common not only for Belarus, but also the most advanced countries. However, there are instruments to challenge this issue and experts will discuss them,” she said.

Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki emphasized the importance of public discussion of zero-tolerance for domestic violence. She called for working out efficient country-specific approaches to combat this issue.

Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki noted that this year the world is marking the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which is often described as an international bill of rights for women. In 2020 the UN General Assembly will review progress in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action. Together with its partners, the United Nations will keep working to promote women’s rights and to push for transformation of commitment into real action. 

Attending the forum in Minsk are representatives of the Labor and Social Security Ministry, Economy Ministry, the National Academy of Sciences and international organizations. The agenda of the forum features the increasing role of women in the society, gender equality proposals that will be used to develop the country’s National Sustainable Development Strategy through 2035 and the new National Gender Equality Action Plan for 2021-2025.

The forum is divided into three themed sessions. Each of them highlights global challenges in the gender policy implementation: Balance of Work and Family Life: Is it Possible in the Present-Day World?, Counteraction to Domestic Violence, Female Employment and Business as a Driver Behind the Achievement of Sustainable Development Goal No.5 Gender Equality.

The forum also includes a presentation of the findings of the research “Application of Behavioral Methods for the Expansion of Economic Rights and Opportunities of Women in Belarus”. The study was conducted as part of the Women and the Labor Market initiative. The study was financed by the UK Embassy in Minsk and implemented by the UNDP in Belarus. The group of experts will speak about the barriers for women’s success at work and present the appropriate behavioral solutions.

The forum is held by the UNFPA in Belarus and the UNDP in Belarus in partnership with National Coordinator for SDGs Marianna Shchetkina and the financial support of the UK Embassy in Minsk.

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