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I Am a girl, protect me but don’t navigate me

Sonja Smuc, MD Manager’s association of Slovenia talks about their social structure, how women are involved in their economy and what India can learn from them

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“The emotional, social, and physical stereotyping of a woman begins when the doctor says – It’s a girl”

The debate on gender equality has been going on since the millennial women today hit puberty. While people who talk on this issue argue for women’s rights at workplaces, at home but rarely talk about their equality and freedom in thinking, their access to their basic human rights and a freedom to think. While India is working towards making this better for women in our country. Slovenia is doing pretty good on this front. They are number eight on the World Economic Forums gender equality gap right now, their pay gap is the least ie. 2.5 per cent. Sonja Smuc, MD Manager’s association of Slovenia talks about their social structure, how women are involved in their economy and what India can learn from them.

What do you in terms of gender equality in Slovenia? What is the current status in terms of gender equality right now?

Slovenia is one of the top ten gender equality countries right now. We are actually number eight on the World Economic Forums gender equality gap right now. We have good social economic structure. We have very good social infrastructure, which means we have a very big network of kindergartens, schools. We invest a lot in education. Women are a large part of our workforce, they work fulltime and contribute immensely in our economy. Our pay gap is probably the lowest in the world roughly about 2.5 per cent. We have a lot of elements which show how strong we are in terms of gender equality. In terms of health, we have the lowest newborn mortality and teen pregnancy. Women feel equal as well.

What difference do you see between India and Slovenia when it comes to Gender Equality?

As I said we have very good social infrastructure. So I guess India can pick up from the good areas and build on that. The involvement of woman in Slovenia is quite a lot. We need a lot of people to work, to pay taxes and make us stronger. We have made women an integral part of the economy, but for that to happen the state has the authority and also responsibility to put in place the mechanism for that. It is crucial to have a support system for women in the country to make them work.

What is the biggest challenge for women in terms of gender equality?

I think the biggest challenge as a global society face is that we were trained in thinking of women as secondary to men. What we should understand now is that men and women as equal human beings have the same talents, aspirations. Those double standards that we have inscribed our patterns of thinking. And they are imbibed so deeply that we don’t even realise it’s there. And that is the main obstacle.

What is the way forward in terms of gender equality?

Well, part of it is that states have to take a step forward because they can put in place, policies that enable a society to make a change. Women, in particular, have to understand that they have a right to equality in every sphere of life. To claim that right, to pursue it and get what they deserve is what will help strengthen gender equality across the world.


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women economic forum slovenia women