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Gender Equality conference

Studies have shown that greater gender equality has positive effects on decision making in politics and business, speakers pointed out at the outset of a two-day conference at Brdo pri Kranju on Wednesday, and called for measures to reinforce women's position in society.


Slovenia does not seem to have any problems in letting women into the business and political life, however the number of women in key positions is still insufficient, Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek said in her opening address.


"Taking differences between genders into account and at the same time providing equality between men and women should be a part of all new policies and measures," the PM told the conference entitled "Gender Equality Pays Off".


Slovenia ranks in the upper half of European countries in gender equality, which is mostly due to women's high education and the rate of employment among women, Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Anja Kopač Mrak said.


Still, problems occur when women try to reconcile their work with family life, the minister noted and said the state must aim to implement measures that would help both men and women manage their time better. Norwegian Ambassador Tove Skarstein underscored that stereotypes should not get in the way of gender equality, which she said has great benefits. The conclusions of the event, backed by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme, will also serve as the basis for a national programme to promote gender equality, which is to be adopted in 2014.