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Cyprus

‘Gender equality should be way of life’

Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou stressed the significance of gender equality on Tuesday, saying that raising awareness among children and teachers on the gender-based division of the labour market is an important first step.

The division has the effect of concentrating many women into low-skilled, low-wage, non-prosperous jobs, she stated.

The minister made the statements at an awards ceremony for students who took part in a contest for gender equality titled ‘We break stereotypes in the work of men and women’.

“Gender equality should not be just a goal, but a way of life. We are all entitled to and have to claim equal opportunities to achieve everything we can, to the maximum of our capabilities, regardless of gender. This is what our national equality legislation ensures and promotes,” she said.

Emilianidou was referring to the government’s policies regarding expanding maternity leave, introducing and updating paternity leave, introducing equality inspectors and running the gender equality committee in employment and vocational training.

“Various other initiatives and actions contribute significantly to reducing the pay gap between men and women such as upgrading the mechanism for inspecting and examining complaints on equal pay, setting up a national agency for the Certification of Businesses for the Application of Good Practice for Equality in the Work Environment, support and encouragement of the reconciliation of family and professional life, and the training of counsellors and vocational educators, pre-primary, primary and secondary education teachers and parents with the primary objective of fighting occupational segregation,” the minister concluded.

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