At the beginning of March, Czechitas had the honor of joining the Czech government delegation to attend the 67th session ofthe Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67).
Hosted in New York City at the United Nations building, the priority theme for the session was "Innovation and Technological Change, and Education in the Digital Age for Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls." Since equal opportunities and career growth are key Czechitas themes, this venue provided a unique chance to present our work to a truly global audience.
For the past year, we have been trying to contribute to the Czech education strategy for adults and children, even at the central level. As non-profit/non-governmental sector representatives, we look into government bodies, and also contribute our expertise to the Digitální Česko framework. For us, this trip was another piece in our puzzle for social change.
The conference takes place every year aroundInternational Women's Day and brings together most of the UN member states from around the world. Ministerial round tables, expert panel discussions and interactive dialogues are on the agenda with the aim of presenting national activities in the field of gender equality and sharing good practices among all stakeholders.
The UN Commission on the Status of Women was established in 1947 as a mechanism to promote and monitor matters relating to the political, economic, civil, social and educational rights of women, and is the UN's peak body on gender equality and the empowerment of women. The commission is made up of 45 member states, and the Czech Republic is applying for its membership this year.
The Czech delegation was led by Minister Marián Jurečka from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs; Deputy Minister for European Affairs and Government Commissioner for Human Rights Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková; and other government representatives.
This year’s delegation also included a larger group of civil society representatives. Czechitas was joined by NGOs such as People in Need, Jsme fér, Czech Women's Lobby, Rodinný svaz, Nadace Krása pomoci, and Nesehnuti.
The Czech Republic organized three panel discussions on the topic of the integration of refugee women, but also the very hot and topical topic of violence in the online space and removing obstacles to over coming the digital divide between men and women and supporting education and transparency of remuneration, where we had the opportunity to present our activities and reaped them worldwide recognition.
Did you know that more than 60,000 participants from all over the Czech Republic have gone through Czechitas’s activities from popularization to education to career guidance? Just last year, after our Digital Academy (an intensive requalification course focused on data analytics or testing), half of the female graduates changed jobs within three months of graduation, and more than half immediately saw an average salary increase of CZK 3,300. And that's just the beginning, including completely new career paths in IT. Sharing, networking and inspiration is another great tool to move forward.
There is equal access to education in theCzech Republic. As a society, however, we still need to work on eliminating prejudices and stereotypes that prevail in our country and make it difficult for women to work in the most lucrative fields or in higher positions. At Czechitas, we are intensively working to change this.