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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

Equality of women in the world and closer/Ravnopravnost zena u svijetu I blize

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

For some time now, I have been thinking about writing an article about women's equality in society, because I am socially sensitive to this topic, and women's equality is important to me. To be able to write about this topic, I had to do a little research that will confirm what you may have already known, but which could also surprise you to some extent.

I found on the internet that it is predicted it will take about 275 years to achieve full gender equality. I have no idea how this figure came about by those who calculated it, but I know for sure that the position of women in society varies greatly from country to country. I found a table of a total of 189 countries sorted by how much equality of women is present at work. In the first three places are the countries from which I expected to be at the top: Australia, Canada and New Zealand, respectively. What you may not have expected is the country that is in 6th place, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Women are more equal in that country than is the case for example in France, America, or Sweden, according to this table. There are no surprises at the bottom of the table, these are the countries of the Middle East including Qatar, Syria, and Yemen at the very bottom.

As a young person, I dreamed of spending at least one year of my life in Japan, where I wanted to live but also work. This kept me going until once in England, due to the nature of my job, I collaborated with some Japanese companies. Only men sat in the meetings, or in one case a woman was present, who never said anything. It was then that I first faced the fact that Japan was not a country for me. Inequality irritates me and I know for sure that I would not want to live and work in the countries where it is strongly expressed. I looked for Japan on the list of countries I studied and found it in 89th place, a little behind China and a little better than Thailand. The fact that China is in 85th place shows, even if I knew nothing about China, that the label of a communist country is just a label; China is far from communism, because women's inequality is not in the spirit of communist ideas.

What shocked me was the position in which I found Russia, in 121st place, below Ghana, Morocco and India. This country stopped being socialist not so long ago, in 1991. I wonder if such a state of inequality of women existed even then or have they fallen backwards in the last 30 years?

I am happy and proud that both my countries, Croatia, and the United Kingdom, are among the top 15 in the list, namely the United Kingdom in 7th and Croatia in 15th place. However, this surprised me, because after many years of living and working in both countries, I was under the impression that England is behind Croatia, not ahead. Is it just my feeling or are some facts in favour of it? I asked friends from Croatia for help.

For example, in England there is a well-known problem called "Women in Science". Namely, women are incomparably less present in science than men, and this difference is extrapolated the higher the position. At the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, where I have been working for 15 years, the percentage of women among university professors is 20%. The situation is not significantly better at other English Universities. However, one of my close friends who reads this blog is a professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Zagreb, and she sent me information that there are currently 60% women in the roles of professors compared to 40% of men.

The pharmaceutical company Pliva from Zagreb, which is part of the large multinational company Teva, employs approximately 90% women, at all levels. Accordingly, the representation of women in management positions is above 90%. On one occasion, central Teva sent an American woman who deals with issues of women in science globally, to give a lecture on this topic at Teva Pliva in Zagreb. A friend of mine, one of the few men who held a high position in Pliva, told me: “I tried to explain to that woman that we do not have this problem of women's underrepresentation in science, that it does not exist in our country, but she did not understand what I was talking about.”

And it is not just about science. One of my dear friends from high school, who also reads this blog, is a high-ranking judge in Zagreb. I asked her to give me a rough idea of women among judges in Croatia, and she told me that it was 65% women compared to 35% men. I googled the same question for England and the situation in England seems to be exactly the opposite, 35% of women are in judicial positions compared to 65% of men.

The reasons for such equality of women in Croatia have their roots in the Second World War, when the socialist revolution was being waged at the same time during the liberation war. Women fought side by side with men and the newborn Yugoslavia nurtured women's equality for decades. A large percentage of women worked full time, even though they were mothers. Nurseries were co-financed by the state and most employed women could afford child-care. Even today, the price of nurseries in Croatia is extremely low, compared to England. In absolute numbers, this varies from some £200 a month in Croatia to £1,500 and more in England. British women with incomes below this naturally remain housewives and take care of the children until the children start school. Once children go to school some women in England start working again, but this is often not a full-time job. If a woman does not work full time, her career development does not proceed with the same intensity and speed as is the case with men's careers. The standard of living in England is higher than in Croatia, and families with only one employed member can live solidly, while in Croatia it is often necessary for both partners to work.

These are just some of the differences in my two countries that are both fairly advanced in terms of women's equality, although the paths that led to that equality are significantly different.

I love that on two occasions in England my bosses were women. My first boss at the time I worked in her group was the first and only professor of chemistry in the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge. My current boss is a strong woman that many men she manages are slightly intimated by, and whenever I witness her natural dominance, it makes me smile.

Here is the list of countries ranked by women’s workplace equality from highest to lowest, that could be of interest for people that read this blog:


Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Ravnopravnost zena u svijetu I blize

Vec neko vrijeme razmisljam o tome da napisem clanak sam o ravnopravnosti zene u drustvu jer sam na tu temu drustveno osjetljiva I ravnopravnost zena mi je izuzetno vazna. Da bi mogla pisati o ovoj temi morala sam napraviti jedno malo istrazivanje koje ce potvrditi ono sto ste mozda vec znali, ali koje ce vas vjerujem barem u nekoj mjeri I iznenaditi. Nasla sam na internetu da se predvidja da ce zenama trebati oko 275 godina da postignu punu ravnopravnost sa muskarcima. Nemam pojma kako su do ove brojke dosli oni koji su ju izracunali, ali sasvim sigurno znam da se polozaj zene u drustvu izuzetno puno razlikuje od zemlje do zemlje. Nasla sam tablicu od ukupno 189 zemlje poredane po tome koliko je prisutna ravnopravnost zena na poslu. Na prva tri mjesta su zemlje od kojih sam I ocekivala da su u vrhu po ravnopravnosti zena: Australia, Canada I Novi Zeland, tim redom. Ono sto mozda niste ocekivali je zemlja koja je na 6. mjestu, a to je Bosna I Herzegovina. Prema ovoj tablici, zene su u toj zemlji ravnopravnije nego sto je to slucaj u Francuskoj, Americi ili Svedskoj. Na dnu tablice nema iznenadjenja, to su zemlje Bliskog istoka sa zemljama Qatar, Syria I Yemen na samom dnu.

Ja sam kao mlada osoba sanjala o tome da barem jednu godinu svog zivota provedem u Japanu, u kojem sam zeljela zivjeti, ali I raditi. To me drzalo sve dok, zbog prirode svog posla nisam iz Engleske usla u suradnju sa nekim Japanskim kompanijama. Na sastancima su sjedili ili samo muskarci ili je u jednom slucaju bila prisutna jedna zena, koja nikada nije nista rekla. Tada sam se prvi puta suocila sa cinjenicom da Japan nije zemlja za mene. Neravnopravnost me nervira I sasvim pouzdano znam da nebih zeljela zivejeti I raditi u zemljama u kojima je jako izrazena. Potrazila sam Japan na listi zemalja koju sam proucavala I nasala ga na 89. mjestu, malo iza Kine I malo bolje od Tajlanda. To sto se Kina nasala na 85. mjestu govori, I da nista ne znam o Kini, da je etiketa komunisticke zemlje samo etiketa, daleko je Kina od komunizma, jer neravnopravnost zena nije u duhu komunistickih ideja.

Ono sto me sokiralo je pozicija na kojoj sam nasla Rusiju, na 121. mjestu, ispod Gahne, Morroca ili Indije. A ta je zemlja prestala biti socijalisticka ne tako davne 1991. Pitam se dali je takovo stanje neravnopravnosti zena postojalo I tada ili su u posljednjih 30 godina solidno nazadovali?

Sretna sam I ponosna sto su obije moje zemlje Hrvatska I Velika Britanija prisutne medju prvih 15 na vrhu liste I to Velika Britanija na 7. I Hrvatska na 15. mjestu. Nesto me ipak iznenadilo, a to je sto mi moj osjecaj govori nakon dugogodisnjeg zivota I rada u obije zemlje da je Engleska iza Hrvatske, a ne ispred. Dali se radi samo o mom osjecaju ili I neke cinjenice idu tome u prilog. Zamolila sam prijatelje iz Hrvatske za pomoc.

Na primjer, u Engleskoj je svima dobro poznat problem koji se zove “Zene u znanosti”. Naime zene su neuporedivo manje prisutne u znanosti od muskaraca I razlika u korist muskaraca postaje sve veca sto su karijere na visem stupnju. Na Odsjeku za kemiju, Sveucilista u Cambridgeu, na kojem radim vec 15 godina udio zena medju sveucilisnim Profesorima je 20 %. Situacija nije bitno bolja na drugim Engleskim Sveucilistima. Jedna moja bliska prijateljica koja cita ovaj blog je profesor na Odsjeku za kemiju, Sveucilista u Zagrebu I poslala mi je podatke da je tamo trenutno je zastupljeno 60% zena u ulogama docenata I sveucilisnih profesora prema 40 % muskaraca sa istim ulogama.

U farmaceutskoj kompaniji Pliva iz Zagreba koja je dio velika multinacionalne kompanije Teva, okvirno zaposleno je oko 90 % zena, na svim nivoima. Sukladno tome zastupljenost zena na rukovodecim pozicijama je isto tako iznad 90 %. Jednom je prilikom Teva poslala jednu Amerikanku koja se bavi pitanjima zena u znanosti da na tu temu odrzi predavanje u Tevi Pliva u Zagrebu. Moj prijatelj, inace jedan od rijetkih muskaraca koji je bio na visokoj poziciji u Plivi rekao mi je “Ja sam toj zeni pokusao objasniti da mi taj problem nezastupljenosti zena u znanosti nemamo, da to kod nas ne postoji, ali ona nije razumjela o cemu ja pricam.”

A ne radi s samo o znanosti. Jedna od mojih dragih prijateljica iz srednje skole, koja isto cita ovaj blog, je sutkinja na visokoj poziciji u Zagrebu. Zamolila sam ju da mi okvirno kaze koliki je udio zena medju sudcima u Hrvatskoj I rekla mi je da se radi o 65% zena u odnosu na 35% muskaraca. Goglala sam isto pitanje za Englesku I cini se da je situacija u Engleskoj tocno obrnuta, 35 % zena su na pozicijama sudaca u odnosu na 65% muskaraca.

Razlozi za takovu ravnopravnost zena u Hrvatskoj imaju korjene jos u 2. Svjetskom ratu kad se u doba oslobodilackog rata istovremeno vodila I socijalisticka revolucija. Zene su se borile rame uz rame sa muskarcima I novorodjena je Jugoslavija od svog nastanka desetljecima njegovala ravnopravnost zena. Zene su u velikom postotku radile puno radno vrijeme, iako su bile I majke. Vrtici su bili sufinancirani od strane drzave I velika vecina zaposlenih zena si je mogla priustiti vrtice za djecu. I danas je cijena vrtica u Hrvatskoj izuzetno niska, u usporedbi sa Engleskom. U absolutnim brojkama to varira od nekih £200 mjesecno u Hrvatskoj do £1500 I vise u Engleskoj. Britanke sa primanjima nizim od cijena vrtica prirodno ostaju domacice I brinu se za djecu dok djeca ne krenu u skolu. Jednom kad djeca krenu u skolu mnoge zene u Engleskoj ponovo pocinju raditi, ali to cesto nije puno radno vrijeme. Ako zena ne radi puno radno vrijeme razvoj njezine karijere ne odvija se jednakim intezitetom kao sto je to slucaj sa karijerama muskaraca. Zivotni standard je u Engleskoj visi nego u Hrvatskoj I obitelji sa samo jednim zaposlenim clanom mogu solidno zivjeti dok je u Hrvatskoj cesto nuzno da oba partnera rade.

Ovo su samo neke razlike u moje dvije zemlje koje su obije relativno napredne po pitanjima ravnopravnosti zena, iako su putevi koji su do te ravnopravnosti dovele uistino bitno razliciti.

Volim da su mi u dva navrata u Engleskoj sefice bile zene, ukljucujuci I moju sadasnju seficu. Moja prva sefica je u vrijeme kad sam radila u njezinoj grupi bila prvi I jedini profesor kemije na Odsjeku za kemiju, Sveucilista u Cambridgeu. Moja trenutna sefica je jedna jaka zena koje se mnogi muskarci koje menadzerira pribojavaju I kad god budem svjedok njezine prirodne dominantnosti, to mi izmami smijesak.

Evo popisa zemalja koje bi mogle biti od interesa za ljude koji čitaju ovaj blog rangiranih prema jednakosti žena na radnom mjestu, od najviše do najniže:


Cetvrtak, 13. travnja 2021.

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