The Seimas discussed relevant matters of equal opportunities for women and men

The priorities of the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2010-2014, the Information Portal and Electronic Network for Women, the activities of the European Institute for Gender Equality, as well as the Lithuanian version of the website of the Institute were presented today on 8 May at the European Information Office of the Seimas during an event organised by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the European Institute for Gender Equality.

The audience was greeted by the Minister of Social Security and Labour Donatas Jankauskas, and by the Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality Virginija Langbakk.

'Women and men are equivalent components of our society. It is only natural and socially right that in all areas of life they are granted equal rights and opportunities, that the status of both women and men is equal, and that the potential of both women and men is used for the growth of the national economy as well as the wellbeing of society in an efficient and equal manner', - said Minister Jankauskas.

The Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2010-2014was presented by the vice-minister of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Chairman of the Commission of Equal Opportunities for Women and Men Prof. Audrius Bitinas.

'Lithuania was the first country in Eastern and Central Europe in 1998 to pass a Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, ensuring equal rights de jure and binding all state and municipal institutions to perform programmes and measures aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for women and men de facto. Consistent and systematic work implementing the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men has resulted in Lithuania exceeding the EU average in terms of most of the indicators of gender equality', – stated Vice-minister Bitinas.

The targets of the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2010-2014 are to ensure that the provisions of the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men are implemented in a consistent, complex, and methodical manner in all areas, as well as to ensure that European Union and international obligations are implemented in the field of equality of women and men. The plan for the implementation means of the programme was approved in order to achieve these targets.

The upgrading and updating of the Information Portal and Electronic Network for Women, administered by the Women’s Information Center, was supported in pursuance of the tasks of the aforementioned Programme. Implementation of this measure enabled better dissemination of information on the equality of women and men and also made more opportunities available for wider cooperation on gender equality issues.

As part of the implementation of the Programme, in 2011 the European Institute for Gender Equality was able to launch the Lithuanian version of its web page, and in 2012 – to make it public and update the same. Today’s event is also dedicated to ensuring the visibility of the Institute in Lithuania.

The Information Portal and Electronic Network for Women was presented by the project manager of the Women’s Information Centre Kamilė Butkevičiūtė, the Lithuanian version of the European Institute for Gender Equality web page – by chief investigator of the Institute Jolanta Reingardė, and the activities of the Institute – by the director of the Institute Virginija Langbakk.

'Accessibility of information in the native language can substantially increase the possibilities for encouraging the equality of women and men. I think that not only organisations, but also individuals, will take advantage of this unique opportunity to find out more about new changes in the field of equality of women and men. Such initiatives of the European Union Member States are very welcome', said the Director of the European Institute for Gender Equality Virginija Langbakk.