Lithuania granted women suffrage a century ago but there's still a lot to be done when it comes to gender issues


Did you know that 100 years ago, on November 2, Lithuania granted women suffrage? They were among the first European countries to do so and way before France and the United States.

To mark the milestone, Lithuania’s capital Vilnius installed new traffic lights.

(image: Shutterstock)

However, the data shows us that in the European Union that women's gross hourly earnings are on average of 16.2 percent below those of men while for Lithuania it stands at 14.4 percent.

While women have enjoyed suffrage for 100 years in Lithuania, there are multiple challenges that still persist and need attention. A professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University, Dovile Jakniunaite said that there is a lack of focus on gender equality issues in Lithuania.

She said that the biggest problems are gender-based violence, women's under-representation in politics, the maintenance of stereotypes of gender roles in education, recurring calls for an abortion ban, and gender pay gap.

The Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius tweeted, "Modern society does not exist without fully empowered women, yet globally all of us are still halfway on this journey”.

According to President Dalia Grybauskaitė, who chairs the Council of Women World Leaders the time for change is here. She said, “The beginning of the 20th century was defined by brave women who claimed their right to vote. It is up to us to define the beginning of the 21st century as the new era with equal pay, freedom from violence and universal respect for women’s rights. The time is now.”


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