Czech Women’s Lobby (CWL) is a network of 32 non-profit organisations promoting women’s rights in the Czech Republic. We are also an active member of the European Women's Lobby (EWL) which is the largest umbrella of women’s organization in the European Union, intensively cooperating with EU institutions.
Main aims and priorities of Czech Women’s Lobby:
• Cooperation, networking and establishing common points of view and positions of Czech women’s and gender NGOs
• Lobbying and promotion of the interests of all girls and women living in the Czech Republic including interests of women from marginalised and socially excluded groups
• Promotion in the media and opening important public discussions, defining drawbacks regarding equal opportunities for women and men
• Cooperation with the Czech executive branch and providing expert base
• Monitoring the field of gender equality
• Acknowledgment and promotion of diverse values and needs of women regarding their cultural, national, ethnic, religious, social and sexual identities
Czech Women´s Lobby attitudes
Czech Women's Lobby declares its support to feminist belief that women have the right to political, social and economic equality with men. The organisation stands for the interests of all women regardless of their race, ethnic origin, health condition, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief. At the same time, CWL promotes diversity, acknowledges and asserts diverse values and needs of women with regard to the above mentioned. CWL accepts variety in its organisations as well as variety in feminist trends professed by individual organisations. At the same time, however, CWL requires shared attitudes in the following issues:
Sexuality and reproductive rights of women
Czech Women's Lobby rejects ideologies that disable women the control of their own bodies. CWL requires equality in sexual relationships and says no (not only) to sexual violence against women. CWL supports the freedom to choose when one would like to have a family and to decide whether one will have children and what number. CWL calls for education and awareness in the area of sexual and reproductive rights to be available to all. CWL holds the view that women should have access to contraception of their choice and access to safe and legal abortion. At the same time, CWL does not promote abortion as a family planning method. CWL promotes the right to freely choose care in pregnancy and at delivery, and emphasises health care in accordance with latest available scientific development.
Prostitution and human trafficking
Czech Women’s Lobby perceives trafficking in women as a material breach of human rights. Prostitution should not be related to terms such as “coercion” or, on the contrary, “free will”. These are always relative terms which must be perceived in economic, political, social and cultural contexts. It is necessary to assert various strategies both protecting women’s rights and to hold those profiting from sexual industry liable. Czech Women’s Lobby also asserts shifting responsibility to women’s customers. Women’s rights should include access to health care, police protection, training and education opportunities, legal services and legal representation including residence permits to women from non-EU countries, support, consulting and other services available to all women
Violence against women
Czech Women’s Lobby explicitly denounces all forms of violence against women, both in public as well as private spheres. Violence against women (domestic violence, sexual abuse, rape or other gender-conditioned acts able to induce physical, sexual or psychic harm) is a violation of human rights and therefore it is necessary for both government and non-government bodies to cope with it and to adopt the correct measures for its elimination and for the protection of victims. Violence must be approached as a global social phenomenon with a certain cultural and historical background and specific dynamics.
Women in decision-making positions
Czech Women’s Lobby asserts equal representation of women and men in decision-making positions in politics and central bodies of state administration and sees equal division of power as a basic principle of democracy. Insufficient representation of women in politics can also mean that life experience from one half of population is not taken into account in an appropriate way. Since women face a number of barriers, CWL introduces measures that assist equality of men and women in decision-making positions, for example: creating campaign, education and support programmes targeted at women willing to participate in public, intra-company quotas or legally defined quotas.
Women in the labour market
Czech Women’s Lobby promotes a fair labour market without discrimination on the basis of sex. The following principles apply:
Non-discrimination approach to recruitment, equal pay for the same work and work of same value, equal chances of career growth for men and women of all ages, same chances in the labour market regardless of sex, reasonable pension that is not decreased for the time spent on parental leave, elimination of sexual harassment at workplace, promotion of personal/family and professional life balance.
Gender roles and stereotypes
Czech Women’s Lobby fights against gender roles and stereotypes that continue to spread in the European context and are preserved mainly through education systems and the media. CWL rejects clichés depicting women as inferior to men, sexual subjects or people connected primarily with domestic work. CWL encourages equal access to education, including gender equality in the curricula. CWL says no to negative and humiliating depictions of women and to their symbolic overlooking, condemnation or trivialisation in the media.