Ilona Švihlíková received an engineers´ degree and doctorate in International Trade and Commercial Languages from the University of Economics in Prague. Today she is a lecturer at University College of International and Public Relations in Prague. The main framework of her interest is in international economic relations, various aspects of globalization, monetary issues, energy security and connection between economics and politics, especially tax issues. Furthermore she is concerned with labour market issues and their impact on women, including the pension reform.
Ms Švihlíková is the author of the publication Women and pension: an analysis of gender aspects of the current pension reform (2012). The publication was requested by the Open Society Fund as a contribution to a debate on the pension reform proposals. She has become one of the most vocal critics of the Czech pension reform. As the establishing of the so-called second pillar of private savings (that at the end was not obligatory) doesn’t take into account the career breaks, due to maternity or parental leave, it can have a big impact on women´s decisions when they plan a family. If the so-called second pillar became dominant source of future pension, women with children would be severely discriminated against as they could not contribute as much as men to the private fund.
Ms Švihlíková actively cooperates with non-governmental organisations like Czech Women´s Lobby, Forum 50% or The Open Society-ProEquality. She participated on the first Women´s Congress last year, is a member of NKC (National Contact Centre – women and science) that try to prevent women discrimination in science, and is highlighting gender issues throughout her work.