Harassment and educational institutions: what shall be kept in mind?
Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson Birutė Sabatauskaitė had issued a warning for one centre of non-formal youth education due to its inaction with regards to the harassment on the grounds of age, experienced by one pupil. During a competition, according to the victim, the chairperson of a selection board demeaned a participant when assuming that she was too young to prepare the methodology of a research project herself. "Go ask your mum for advice," the chairperson said.
Decreasing pay gap in Lithuania does not allow to conclude on consequences of the pandemic
In Lithuania, women still receive lower wages than male workers: such a pay gap last year accounted for 12.1 per cent, and, when compared with the data from 2019, decreased by 0.3 percentage points, according to the Department of Statistics. The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson underlines that more positive rates do not allow us to unequivocally conclude on the economic situation in which female workers find themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.
Birutė Sabatauskaitė appointed as a new Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson
On the 1st of April, Birutė Sabatauskaitė is starting to work as the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson of the Republic of Lithuania. She has been appointed to this position by the Parliament (Seimas) for the five-year term. The Seimas approved Sabatauskaitė’s candidacy which was proposed by the Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen. The candidacy of Sabatauskaitė was also supported by the Seimas’ Committee on Human Rights. The new Ombudsperson Sabatauskaitė is replacing Agneta Skardžiuvienė who has held this position until now.
The number of discrimination cases increased during the pandemic
During the pandemic, the number of inquiries on discrimination increased, as did violations of equal opportunities laws. Last year the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson identified 37 cases of discrimination (8 more than a year ago). After presenting the 2020 annual report to Seimas and the public, Ombudsperson Agneta Skardžiuvienė pointed out that the restrictions of quarantine had an impact on the situation of equal opportunities.
Public opinion poll: 70% of those who faced hate speech would not seek for help
Hate speech, according to Lithuanian residents, is inappropriate and they do speak out against it. However, it is often mistakenly attributed to freedom of expression. In fact, people do not consider this a criminal offense. The vast majority are unaware that hate speech is a violation of human rights and can lead to legal liability. It is worrying that 7 out of 10 people who are exposed to hate speech do not report it and seek help.