Evaluation of gender equality in local governments of Latvia
The author has carried out a study in regard to aspects of gender equality in politics and public administration in Latvia. The author has questioned 85 women, leaders of local governments, interviewed 20 respondents in Latvia, asked men, leaders of local governments, for their opinion, as well as conducted expert interviews in Finland. Results of the study show that the women, leaders of local governments, acknowledge themselves as leaders and they are such indeed. Majority of them have not encountered gender discrimination. Women leaders have positive attitude towards women organizations. A half of the respondents suggest other women should participate in politics, work in local governments which gives them satisfaction regardless of the fact that the participation in politics affects their family lives, and stereotypes existing in the society about a woman in politics. Results gained from the survey examining men’s opinion revealed stereotypical thinking about women holding managerial positions by emphasizing feminine qualities of the women and the role the woman plays in the family. Although it cannot be affirmed that gender discrimination has been ended completely in Finland, interviews with experts in Finland have shown that women’s participation in politics, culture and trust in political power are greater in Finland than in Latvia.
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