Hungary the last but one country in equal opportunities
Zoom.hu reports that Hungary ranked the last but one among the EU countries in a research conducted between 2005 and 2015 about the changes made in the domain of equality of opportunities.
Hungary’s performance is pretty poor in the domain of women’s equality, which was the outcome of a recent research carried out by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). It summed up the changes accomplished concerning the situation of women between 2005 and 2015 in the EU. While many EU countries ameliorated their previous positions, Hungary ranked the last but one country on the list.
It is only the situation of Greek women that is worse than that of Hungarian women. Unsurprisingly, the top 3 countries were Sweden, Finland and Denmark, while Hungary was even preceded by such Eastern European countries as Slovakia, Romania or Bulgaria.
No matter how hard the Hungarian government tries to emphasize its family-friendly attitude, in fact, the results show that these measures have not ameliorated women’s situation. In the study, released by EIGE, Hungary performed below the Union average in all categories. Furthermore, in decision-making, it was Hungary that got the worst score, which is not surprising, since there is no woman politician in the cabinet.
The EIGE examined women’s situation in 6 categories – workplace, salary, knowledge, time management, decision-making and health – and also made a global summary based on the 2005-2015 period. It came to light that most of the EU members still have many things to resolve as, out of the maximum 100 point, the countries got 66.2 on average. This does not seem a great progress compared to the situation of 10 years ago when this number was 62.
The Swedish and Danish have nothing to complain about, since they have the most equal society concerning the roles of men and women. The biggest progress was done by the Italians and the Cypriots.
At the same time, however, the Spanish, the Croats and the Latvians also made significant improvement. Sadly, Hungary has nothing to be proud of since 2005, it only earned 1 plus point. Thus, currently, with its 50.8 point, it is only Greece that is behind us.
The worst news is that in some of the categories our performance was really poor. One of them is the decision-making category where we earned 18.7 points, while the average score in the Union was 50.8 point. Here they examined how many women politicians and managers are in the country and what their role is in the important decision-making processes, for example, in the academic field, in sport life or in the media.
It is generally constated that it is still a problem in the European Union that women work less in full-time than men, and the situation gets worse with age coming close to the age of retirement: it is far more difficult for a woman to find a job. In addition to this, childbirth decreases women’s chance in the labour market.
Apart from this, Hungary is relatively good in the labour market category with 67.2 points compared to the 71.5 points of the average. Although the discrepancy in salaries has decreased, it is estimated that women still earn around 20 % less than men, and the situation gets worse if they want children or raise them alone.
When a woman gives birth to a child, her salary almost always decreases, while that of men increases.
It is good news that the health conditions of Hungarian women is not worse than the average with 86 points out of the 100. Furthermore, men are more active in sports, but women drink and smoke less, so the discrepancy between them is somewhat equalized. In education and in the academic domain, the male-female difference is prevalent, but this does not only affect Hungary but other EU countries also suffer from it.
Finally, as for the time management category, it displays that in many countries it is still the traditional family model that exists and Hungary is no exception. It is altogether 8 countries in the EU – among which we find Sweden, Denmark and Latvia – where men do closely as much housework as women, and they equally have time for recreation. In other countries, however, housework and childrearing are mainly women’s tasks that put them at a disadvantage in the labour market. Hungary, in particular, got 54.3 points, and this is a setback, since in 2005, we earned 61.1 points. The results are disappointing because, as the recent studies have also proven, the more equal men and women are and the more opportunities women have in the labour market and in society, the more willing they become to have children.
So far, it does not seem that the Hungarian government would do much for equality. The Parliament has not yet ratified the Istambul Convention on preventing and combating against violence against women and it was in February that even political representatives prevented the convention from getting it to the Parliament.
To aggravate the problem, the manifestos of politicians also prove the disappointing fact that we do not fight for the amelioration of women’s situation. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, put an end to this debate when declaring at the Budapest Demographic Forum that
gender issues and the marriage of homosexual couples are lovely topics but do not solve the problem of population decline.