Committee: 9th UN WOMEN

Topic Area: Promotion of balanced and non-stereotypical female figures in modern societies

Country: Hungary

Delegate Name: Dimitrios Matsas

Every society, ethnic group or culture has gender role expectations and in many countries the contribution of women in society was limited and controlled by these expectations. Even today there are societies where the role of women is determined by stereotypes arising from religious beliefs, traditions and rituals. We should also note that in mass media, women are portrayed in a narrow range of characters and often associated with the household or sex-objects.

Discrimination based on gender is a common civil rights violation and unfortunately, most women are all too familiar with all of these inequalities even in modern societies. It can take many forms as pregnancy discrimination, unequal pay for women who do the same jobs as men, domestic behaviors (for example the role of housewife), on the labor market (occupations: only teachers and nurses) and in media (Physical appearance).

The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) launched a new global multi-year initiative on eliminating all forms of gender discrimination. The Initiative focused attention to this issue, placing it at the centre of efforts to achieve gender equality, women’s empowerment and eliminated stereotypes (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development).

The Hungarian legal regulation is essentially harmonized with the European and UN norms. According to the Hungarian constitution, all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex are prohibited (first line of paragraph 66). Also the Labour Act prohibits discrimination of men or women in employment (constitution’s paragraph 70/B). It is worth mentioning that in our country it has been operating since 1996 the Office for Women’s Policy which later was renamed as the Office of Equal Opportunities. The office’s objective is to ensure equal opportunities for women. In addition to strengthen the legal framework, the Hungarian government passed a new national strategy on equal opportunities for women and men (In May 2010-Period 2010 to 2021). Therefore, the Republic of Hungary guarantees gender mainstreaming between men and women with respect to citizenship, politics, economics, society and culture, minimizing at the same time the existence or the creation of stereotypical figures.

We strongly believe that the real enemies behind gender stereotypes are ignorance, intolerance, and stagnant societies that resist change. We consider that education plays a fundamental role in changing this state of affairs and is responsible for the creation of ideas which dictate attitudes, actions and perspectives on the world. Also one of the key strategies must be to change how families and society imagine what girls can be and can do. This could be achieved through revising school materials and teaching methods. It would also help the legal awareness of women for the creation of an egalitarian society through several means, including psychological, social, economic, philosophical, awareness of human rights, political and so on. We must also emphasize the important role of media for being successful all the mentioned spheres. The media can promote and speed up the reforms in progress. Non-governmental organizations could educate media employees by giving them the necessary tools and know how to develop gender sensitive policies.

We finally hope for a constructive cooperation with all States to eliminate all forms of gender discrimination. Member States should take all necessary measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women so as to guarantee them the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all fields but in particular the political, social, economic and cultural fields.