The concept of equality is defined in the Czech Charter of Fundamental Rights and Basic Freedoms, a component part of the 1993 constitution. References to gender equality can be also found in the Labour Code.
The influence of the European Union (EU) on the advancement of gender equality in the Czech Republic was fundamental during the accession process, especially in terms of harmonising legislation with the acquis. Since 2001, efforts to promote gender equality, including gender mainstreaming, have been formalised in the Priorities and Policies of the Government in Implementing Equality for Women and Men.
Gender mainstreaming is placed under the responsibility of the Gender Equality Unit within the Office of the Government. Among its activities are the drafting, formulating and assessing of national concept plans and legislation in the field of equal opportunities for women and men. The unit also acts as a national coordinator for gender-equality policies. It performs the role of secretariat to the Council of the Government for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. Established with an advisory function since 2001, it comprises representatives of governmental ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), social partners and gender experts. It aims to create equal opportunities for women and men and draws up proposals for their promotion and achievement.
Again in 2001, a government resolution ordered all departments to set out a Gender Focal Point, i.e. a member of staff who would dedicate all of her or his work time to promoting equal opportunities for women and men.
Laws and policies
Since 1998 the National Gender Equality Plan – Priorities and Policies of the Government in the Promotion of Equality for Women and Men has been the basic strategic document in the field of equal opportunities for women and men. In 2001, gender mainstreaming was formalised within this plan. The National Gender Equality Plan is compiled annually and consists of a report on the fulfilment of the priorities and policies for the previous year, as well as a list of tasks for individual ministries.
Methods and tools
Few methods are systematically applied to promote gender mainstreaming (e.g. sex-disaggregated statistics and stakeholder consultations).