The Asociace pro rovne prilezitosti (Association for Equal Opportunities) was founded in 1999 as an umbrella organization of Czech women´s NGOs founded after the velvet revolution in 1989. It unites 15 organizations, several of which have branches in the whole country (e. g. Social Democratic Women – 4,500 members, Christian Women – 500 members, Leftist Women – 3,000 members, Network of Mother Centers – 300 centers).

The main goal of Association is to contribute to enforcement of equal opportunities in the country and to spread the information on the burning issues throughout the whole country.

Here are some relevant projects of the Association:

On the Road to the EU-Guide not only for Women (series of seminars for women in the whole country, 2003)

More Women in Politics: Do We Need a Parity Law? (series of seminars for female politicians on the municipal level in the whole country, 2005)

Ano Pro Evropu is a civic association with the following objectives :

To work to try and make Europe as much of a "shared space" as possible in national debate, rather than another area left to partisan fighting

To build awareness of the benefits of taking a positive approach to full engagement in the Union, including the necessity to avoid an elite-focus

To promote the idea that membership is relevant to all groups and communities – that Europe is "us" not "them"

Within these broader objectives we try to focus our projects on more specific objectives. ANO’s current projects have as their objectives

Trying to improve public understanding of the facts of Czech involvement in the EU

Promoting a constructive engagement with the major issues at stake in this debate, in particular, their social and economic importance and their importance for our democratic culture
On the 5th Mai the Equal Opportunity Association, the Ano Pro Evropu Association, in collaboration with the Robert Schuman Foundation and with the support of the European Commission, will organise at the Czech Senate the conference “Women in public life”.

The conference is organised with the patronage of the Vice President of the Czech Senate, Alena Gajduskova and aims at discussing the women’s representation in politics in the Czech republic, the experience of women politicians and the opportunity of quotas.

The proposals for improving the parity in the Czech Republic wil be publish on this website after the conference.

Towards the site of Asociace pro rovne prilezitosti

Towards the site of Ano

Conclusions of the Conference
The “Women in public life” conference took place in the Main Hall of the Senate of Parliament of the Czech Republic on May 5th, 2009, from 10,00-14,00.

The conference was organized in cooperation with Ms Alena Gajduskova, 1st Deputy Chairwoman of the Senate, and facilitated by Michaela Marksova Tominova, Chairwoman of Association of Equal Opportunities.

After the conference, she also organized an event for a group of important Czech women – a lecture “Women in the Global Crisis”, given by the Czech writer and sociologist living in Germany, Alena Wagnerova.

Recommendations and Conclusions from the speeches and the following discussion

The responses to the question: “Which measures can make the situation of Czech women in decision making processes better?” were diverse:

- Women have to focus on particular themes, mostly those left out by the male politicians (family issues, children rights, elderly people etc.) and through these themes they have to work in political parties – after some time, men will understand their importance and put them easily on the eligible places on the candidate lists.

- As the experiences from the CSSD party shows (the only party applying internal quotas for many years), internal quotas and discussions about them do not automatically mean that there are more women on the candidate lists. Women (together with supportive men) have to introduce legal quotas on the candidate lists, because this is the only way to get more women in Parliament. The solution is either to pass a law or to leave it to single parties to organise their own candidate lists quotas.