Lithuania: National programme adopted on equal opportunities 2015–2021
The Lithuanian government adopted its second programme for promoting equal opportunities in February 2015.
Lithuania’s laws on equal opportunities were introduced in 1998, and a National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men was implemented in 2003.
Its successor, the National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2015–2021 (in Lithuanian), contains support for:
- promoting employment and work opportunities for women and men;
- seeking balanced participation of women and men in decision-making and high-ranking positions;
- improving the efficiency of institutional gender equality mechanisms;
- promoting gender mainstreaming in education and research, culture, healthcare, environmental protection, the national defence and access to justice;
- implementing EU and international gender equality commitments.
An Action Plan for 2015–2017 (in Lithuanian) has been drafted to facilitate the implementation of the programme's goals and objectives.
However, some social partners and non-governmental organisations have criticised the programme’s aims for not being ambitious enough.
The programme, prepared by the Ministry for Social Security and Labour (SADM), stipulates that by 2021:
- women should account for 20% of decision-makers and top-grade managers in Lithuania (compared with 19.24% in 2014);
- the gender wage gap should stand at 13.25% (13.3% in 2013);
- women should account for 30% of people managing small- and medium-sized businesses (26% in 2013);
- the share of men with higher education should reach 44% (40% in 2014).