Polls suggest Czechs want more women in politics
On Tuesday, President Vaclav Klaus appointed the second government of Mirek Topolanek, which has yet to ask for a confidence vote in the lower house of parliament. One of the changes compared to his previous cabinet is that the number of women ministers has doubled - from two to four. An opposite trend, however, can be seen in parliament, where the number of women actually dropped after last year's elections. That despite the fact that opinion polls suggest Czechs would like to see more women in politics.
Forum 50% commissions regular surveys from the CVVM polling agency; they suggest growing support for a higher representation of women in Czech politics. According to the latest poll, almost 80 percent of Czechs believe that women should be actively supported and encouraged to take up politics, while growing support was also noted for some kind of affirmative action. The survey also asked people what they believe are the main obstacles potential female politicians face.
Ahead of last year's general election, Forum 50% held a contest called "Women-Friendly Party" comparing major Czech political parties as regards their attitude to women. Unsurprisingly, they say, it was the smaller parties, like the Greens and the European Democrats but also the Communist Party, that proved most supportive of equal opportunities and diversity in general within their ranks.