In the newest issue of the Over the Hedge “Is the Gender Gap Closing? Belarus and Lithuania”, EESC analyses gender equality situation in Belarus and Lithuania. In 2013 the Human Rights organization Freedom House referred Belarus to the group of “not free” countries in their Map of Freedom 2013. According to the Freedom House report for Belarus, “there are significant discrepancies in income between men and women, women are poorly represented in leading governmental positions. As a result of extreme poverty, many women have become victims of the international sex trade.”
In order to better understand gender equality situation in Belarus, a case of another post-soviet country, Lithuania, was chosen. Contrary to Belarus, Lithuania is pursuing a pro-Western path of development and is already enjoying positive results of the European Union integration. The study compares Belarusian and Lithuanian females’ participation in labour market and business. It analyses whether education systems are equally open and promising for both genders. Also, study focuses on existing stereotypes and family roles (women has to either be a teacher, or stay at home and be a housewife etc.).