Lithuanian president: over 150 countries still have laws discriminating against women
More than 150 countries in the world still have laws that discriminate against women, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Thursday.
"Even today in the world, more than 150 countries still have laws that discriminate against women. In many parts of the world, gender equality is standing still or the progress in being reversed," the president said in her keynote speech to the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit in Vilnius.
"Moving at such a pace, we'd need at least another 100 years to bridge the existing gender gap in the world," Grybauskaitė said.
"Another 100 years for gender equality? This means we are not investing enough to solve the problem and achieve real gender equality," she added.
Lithuania this year marks 100th years since women in the country received the right to vote.
The president said that a lot has been since achieved in Lithuania and in the world, but "despite the progress, the issues of equality, bridging the pay gaps, combatting ancient stereotypes and violence are still present in our society".
Grybauskaitė noted that a mere 21 percent of the members of the Lithuanian parliament are women.
"We do not have problems with laws, we do not have problems with respect for women, but we do have problems with self-confidence," she said.
The Lithuanian president urged women of the 21st century to seek an equal status, equal pay for work and equal political opportunities.
Around 300 women from over 70 countries are taking part in the WPL Summit underway at the Lithuanian parliament building in Vilnius.