Transformation of Gender Roles in Lithuanian Society

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:40 AM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Virginija JURENIENE , Vilnius University , Vilnius, Lithuania
In 1990 after regaining Lithuanian independence, women organizations started their active performance. The majority of these organizations summoned reconstructive congresses, for example Lithuanian Women Catholic organization which was forbidden in the 1940s when the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania.

At the beginning of 1990 the first democratic election to the Supreme Council of Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was held. In 1990 there were 14 women who made up 10% of the elected in the Seimas (Parliament).

Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 1992 consolidates the equality of men and women.

A legal measure to eliminate gender discrimination is the Law of Equal Opportunities which was passed in 1999. This law was the first of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. On September 29, 2008 the Seimas signed National agreement on realizing women and men’s equal rights and opportunities. The agreement was initiated by the National women’s consulting forum striving to enforce equal opportunities of genders in reality.

After Lithuanian society entered the 21stcentury, with changes in economic and social intercourse, women have become more active while looking for well-paid jobs regarding their specialties. Though tenacious stereotypes about male and female jobs still remain.

Facts of public opinion poll and social inquiries prove that patriarchal attitude, which is based on a traditional understanding of manliness and womanhood, are still popular in Lithuania. It is often stressed that it is men who should take a more important place in labour market and social life. Women‘s opportunities to seek for professional career or stay in a leading position are perceived sceptically.

Though in Lithuania changes in labour market are present, a number of unsolved problems still remain. A problem of women – mothers’ discrimination still exists.

However, an important question is open: why women electorate do not vote for women candidates?