On the Endorsement of the Report on the Implementation in the Republic of Lithuania of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women


Published: 2007-10-10

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Oficialus vertimas
2007 11 23
 
 
 
 
 
GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
 
RESOLUTION No 1094
 
of 10 October 2007
 
on the endorsement of the report on the implementation in the Republic of Lithuania of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
 
 
Vilnius
 
 
Implementing paragraph 836 in Table 2 ‘Measures for the Implementation of Obligations under the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for 2006-2008’ of the ‘Measures for the Implementation of the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for 2006-2008’ approved by Resolution No 1020 of 17 October 2006 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 112-4273, 2006) and Article 18(1)(b) of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 21-549, 1996) ratified by Resolution No I-1035 of 10 September 1995 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 76-1764, 1995), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania h a s  r e s o l v e d:
1. To approve the Fourth Report on the Implementation in the Republic of Lithuania of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (as appended);
2. To charge the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the task of submitting, in the prescribed procedure, the above-mentioned Report to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
 
 
 
Prime Minister                                                                                 Gediminas Kirkilas
 
 
 
Minister of Foreign Affairs                                                             Petras Vaitiekūnas
 
APPROVED by Resolution No 1094 of 10 October 2007 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania
 
 
 
FOURTH REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
 
 
 
I. INTRODUCTION
 
 
1.   The Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Government) hereby submits the fourth periodic report on the implementation in the Republic of Lithuania of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (hereinafter referred to as the Convention) under Article 18(1)(b) of the Convention (hereinafter referred to as this Report). This Report has been prepared following the Guidelines and General Recommendations for the Preparation of Reports approved by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. This Report contains information on the progress made by the Republic of Lithuania in implementing the Convention in the period from the 4th Quarter of 2004 to the 1st Quarter of 2007 and information according to the Concluding Comments of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women with respect to the initial report and the second periodic report of Lithuania examined by the Committee at its 23rd Session on 12-30 June 2000 in New York, supplementing the information provided in the third periodic report on the implementation in the Republic of Lithuania of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women approved by Resolution No 1497 of 25 November 2004 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 173-6395, 2004) (hereinafter referred to as the Third Report).
2.   This Report was prepared by the Commission set up by the Minister of Social Security and Labour, with members from the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The draft Report was considered by the Commission of Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, which is composed of representatives of not only government institutions but also of NGOs. The draft Report was also introduced to other Lithuania’s NGOs which were present in the sitting of above-mentioned Commission and were provided with the possibility to submit their remarks and comments.
 
 
II. INFORMATION ACCORDING TO ARTICLES OF THE CONVENTION
 
Article 1
 
3.   On 18 June 2002, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Seimas) amended and supplemented the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 112-2100, 1998) (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men) to set that any discrimination, not only direct but also indirect, shall be prohibited. In 2005, the concept of discrimination was further expanded. From July 2005, discrimination as defined in the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men (as amended by the Law No X-304 of 5 July 2005) covers not only direct and indirect discrimination and sexual harassment but also discrimination on the grounds of sex and instruction to discriminate persons on the grounds of sex, all these forms of discrimination being prohibited. Discrimination on the grounds of sex is defined as undesirable behaviour which offends or might offend a person’s dignity and creates or might create an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or offensive environment. Moreover, it has been laid down that if discrimination on the grounds of sex is also related to family or marital status, this shall be deemed as a particularly discriminatory act.
4.   Protection against discrimination was strengthened. The Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men (as amended by the Law No. X-304 of 5 July 2005) sets that a person’s rejection of or submission to discriminatory conduct may not be used as a basis for a decision affecting that person. The Law has also narrowed the exception in the definition of direct discrimination in relation to women and men of the pensionable age: pensionable age of women and men in occupational pension schemes must be equal. In addition, an exception has been added to the definition of direct discrimination, i.e. sale of goods or provision of services exclusively or primarily to persons of one sex shall not be deemed direct discrimination on the grounds of sex when such sale of goods or provision of services is justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.
 
Article 2
 
a)
 
5.   The principle of equality between women and men and provisions on gender equality have been consistently integrated into legal acts in a wide range of fields, primarily labour, social security, education and science. The most recent of them are the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Support for Employment (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 73-2762) (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Support for Employment), Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Social Enterprises (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 96-3519, 2004) (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Social Enterprises) and other laws adopted earlier and amended or revised in 2005 and 2006. Laws have in principle ensured gender equality de jure; therefore, most focus is on the implementation of legal acts in practice, through various programmes, projects and measures. Provisions on gender equality have been integrated into Lithuania’s Single Programming Document 2004-2006 approved by the Government’s Resolution No 935 of 2 August 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 123-4486, 2004) (hereinafter referred to as the Single Programming Document), also into the latest programming documents for the European Union (hereinafter referred to as the EU) Structural Funds 2007-2013, thus creating conditions to finance measures aimed at tackling gender equality issues not only from the state budget of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the state budget) but also from the EU Structural Funds.
 
b)
 
6.   Sanctions for discrimination on the grounds sex are being hardened. On 9 November 2004, the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men was supplemented by Article 241, which stipulates that a person who has suffered from discrimination on the grounds of sex or from sexual or other harassment shall have the right to claim financial and moral damages from the responsible persons in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 74-2262, 2000) (hereinafter referred to as the Civil Code).
7.   Efforts are being made to ensure not only de jure but also de facto equality of women and men in all spheres. By Resolution No 1042 of 26 September 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 116-4202, 2005), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has approved a National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009. The overall objective of this interinstitutional Programme is the implementation of a complex of measures aimed at ensuring equal opportunities of women and men in all spheres of life. Measures under this Programme are being implemented by all ministries, mostly in cooperation with women NGOs. The Programme aims at addressing, in an consistent, complex and systematic manner, gender equality issues; ensuring gender mainstreaming in all spheres; tackling specific problems of women and men. The main directions of the Programme are: to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in employment, education and science, politics and decision-making; to ensure equal rights, including through the combat against violence against women and trafficking in women; gender mainstreaming in health and environmental protection; to strengthen institutional gender equality mechanisms and methods, including the strengthening of institutional capacities and the improvement of statistics. Many of the Programme’s tasks correspond to the articles of the Convention, and a number of measures are dedicated to further implementation of the requirements under the Convention. Therefore, this Report contains much information on the results of implementation of this multidisciplinary Programme.
8.   One of the priorities of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is combating violence against women. As part of this Programme, an analysis of experience of foreign states in the application of legal measures aimed at isolating perpetrators from the family was carried out in 2006. The analysis covered Canadian, German and Austrian laws protecting victims from domestic violence; preliminary proposals to be discussed were developed. Taking into account the conclusions drawn from the above-mentioned analysis of the experience of foreign states and the provisions of the current legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, a number of legal provisions were being drafted in 2007 to ensure a more effective legal protection of victims of domestic violence, including measures that would create conditions for a longer isolation of perpetrators from the affected family.
9.   Further support is being given to projects implemented by women NGOs, aimed at providing assistance to women who have suffered from domestic violence. In 2005, the above-mentioned Programme co-financed (LTL 80 thou) 12 projects initiated by NGOs, aimed at providing social assistance to victims of domestic violence and working with perpetrators. Social, psychological and legal services were provided to 341 persons, including 314 victims of domestic violence and 27 perpetrators who wanted to quit with violent behaviour. In 2006, the Programme co-financed (LTL 80 thou) 20 projects of NGOs. Social, psychological and legal services were provided to 1245 persons: 1212 women and 33 men. Of this number, 191 persons were offered temporary safe accommodation, psychological counselling (722 hours), legal counselling (240 hours) and social services (1997 hours).
10. Having in mind that the problem of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, is very painful and victims need a complex set of services and assistance, the Government has approved, by Resolution No 1330 of 22 December 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 144-5474, 2006), a National Strategy for Combating Violence against Women (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy) and a Plan of Implementing Measures 2007-2009. The aim of this long-tem Strategy is to reduce, in a consistent, complex and systematic manner and on the national level, domestic violence against women. The main priorities of the Strategy are: improvement of the legal base in the field of combating violence against women; analysis of the situation in the field of domestic violence against women; effective prevention of domestic violence against women; provision of a complex set of assistance to victims of domestic violence against women; sanctions on perpetrators; strengthening of institutional capacities. The goals of the Strategy have been set for the period until 2015, and measures for the implementation of the Strategy will be developed every three years. The first plan of measures covers the period of 2007-2009.
11. The implementation of measures under the Strategy was started at the beginning of 2007. For the purpose of reviewing and improving legal acts, a working group was set up by Order No 1R-352 of 13 September 2007 of the Minister of Justice; the working group is responsible for conducting an analysis of the current laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania governing the eviction, for any domestic violence, of perpetrators from the premises owned by the family, e.g. the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 89-2741, 2000) (hereinafter referred to as the Criminal Code), the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 37-1341, 2002), the Civil Code, the Code of Civil Procedure of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 36-1340, 2002), etc. On the basis of this analysis and the analysis of legal acts referred to in paragraph 8 of this Report, proposals will be prepared for a more effective legal protection of victims of violence, including for measures creating the conditions for a longer isolation of perpetrators from the family.
12. Provision of a complex set of support to victims of domestic violence is a priority of the Strategy. One of the objectives of the Strategy is to seek that victims of domestic violence are given the necessary temporary safe accommodation. This objective is being implemented by promoting the establishment and supporting at least one institution or organisation in each county to provide social services to victims of domestic violence and to ensure cooperation between the institutions concerned; this measure of the Strategy was started in 2007. To ensure the provision of a complex set of assistance to victims of domestic violence against women, 21 projects of municipal or women NGOs were selected, by way of tender conducted in 2007, and supported. These projects aim at providing women who have suffered from domestic violence with safe accommodation, qualified psychological assistance, legal counselling, social assistance or other required support. LTL 500 thou were allocated in the state budget to support such projects. The results of project implementation are reported annually.
13. Since 2004, a toll-free telephone hot-line has been available for battered women. The line is financed from the state budget and run by the Social and Psychological Assistance Centre in Klaipėda. As laid down in the Government’s Resolution No 1054 of 2 October 2007 amending Resolution No 1330 of 22 December 2006 of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania ‘On the Approval of the National Strategy for Combating Violence against Women and the Plan of Implementing Measures 2007-2009’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 106-4341, 2007), continuous (24 hours a day) specialised assistance by telephone shall be ensured for battered women countrywide from 2008 on.
14. Efforts to combat violence against women would not be sufficiently effective if due attention was not given to the work with perpetrators covering not only the application of sanctions but also the development of alternative measures of impact. One of the objectives of the Strategy is the improvement of application of alternative measures of impact on perpetrators and the promotion of activities of organisations dealing with perpetrators who want to quit with violent behaviour. As part of implementation of measures under the Strategy, 6 projects dedicated to the work with perpetrators wishing to quit with violent behaviour were supported in 2007. LTL 100 thou were allocated in the state budget to support these projects.
15. Women NGOs are well performing in the field of combating violence against women. One of the objectives of the Strategy is to support organisational activities aimed at preventing domestic violence against women and ensuring close cooperation between law enforcement officers and institutions providing legal, social, psychological and medical assistance to the victim as well as coordination of actions in dealing with domestic violence against women. 13 projects aimed at combating violence against women implemented by women NGOs were supported in 2007. These projects will be completed in the end of 2007; LTL 400 thou were allocated in the state budget to support these projects.
16. Women organisations successfully implement projects supported by international funds, aimed at preventing violence against women and giving assistance to victims of violence. In 2005-2006, the association ‘Women’s Issues Information Centre’ (hereinafter referred to as the WIIC) implemented, in cooperation with partners from the Nordic and Baltic states, the project ‘Analysing Good Practices and Developing Cooperation to Combat Violence against Women in 5 Baltic and Nordic states’ under the programme of Community action (2004 to 2008) to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk (the Daphne II programme) adopted by Decision No 803/2004/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 21 April 2004 (OJ 2004, Special edition in Lithuanian, Chapter 05, Volume 05, p. 15). As part of this project, national working groups were set up in each country, bringing together a number of institutions, both governmental and non-governmental, directly involved in combating violence against women and children. As a result of the project, a Nordic-Baltic cooperation network for combating violence against women was created. The network is supported from the state budget, with annual allocations of LTL 10 thou.
17. Since 2004, the WIIC has been providing free-of-charge legal counselling services to women under the project ‘Legal Counselling and Information for Women’ implemented in cooperation with the Legal Aid Centre for Women, Oslo. The goal of the project is to provide legal counselling to women (particularly those who have suffered from domestic violence) who do not have access to legal information for economic or social reasons, or to direct them to other relevant institutions that might help them.
18. Prevention of violence against women is being strengthened. Police officers in cooperation with other institutions concerned (child rights’ protection services, social workers in wards, women crises centres) are continuously engaged in counselling-educational activities. Local police inspectors keep a watch on persons who often spark conflicts, and record their data in the district files maintained by local police inspectors. In 2005-2006, the Chief Police Commissariat of Klaipėda participated in the preventive-educational project ‘Who Will Protect Me’ initiated by the Child Rights’ Protection Service of the Klaipėda Municipal Administration and the Child Crises Centre, targeted at families subjected to violence. As part of this project, violent parents were given lectures about alternatives to physical punishments. Under this project, more raids on families at social risk and families with underage foster children were undertaken.
19. In 2006, Vilnius town police officers participated in the international Polish-Latvian-Finnish-Lithuanian project ‘Stop – no more tolerance to the collusion of silence! First contact police officers as allies for domestic violence victims’. Seminars were organised in each participating country to discuss the need to join efforts in combating domestic violence, and new methods of prevention and cooperation with NGOs. Lithuania was actively involved in the campaign for combating violence against women launched by the Council of Europe in November 2006. Objectives of the campaign have been mirrored in the goals of the Strategy. For the implementation of these goals, the Strategy provides for educational, preventive and other relevant measures, including awareness campaign against violence; the implementation of these measures was started in the beginning of 2007 and will be continued until 2009.
20. By the data of the IT and Communications Department under the Ministry of the Interior about women victims of criminal acts, 464 women were victimised by their husbands or cohabitants in 2005, with 74% of them aged 30 years or above, and 448 women in 2006, with 75% aged 30 years and above (see Tables 1 and 2 in the Annex).
21. Efforts are being made to draft a special law for combating violence against women. By Decision No 1315 of 13 December 2006 of the Board of the Seimas, a working group was set up to draft a Conceptual Framework for the Protection against Domestic Violence and related amendments to relevant legal acts. The purpose of the Conceptual Framework for the Protection against Domestic Violence is to pave the way for a Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Protection against Domestic Violence (hereinafter referred to as the Law on the Protection against Domestic Violence). The Law on the Protection against Domestic Violence (and the related amendments to other relevant legal acts) will serve as the basis for the effective enforcement and protection of inherent human rights with a view to eliminating domestic violence.
 
c)
 
22. Both women and men affected by direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex, harassment based on sex or sexual harassment have the right to lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman about a violation of equal rights. A complaint is investigated within a month; when necessary, the duration of investigation may be extended for another one month. The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman has been investigating complaints about discrimination on various grounds since 2005; most complaints in 2005 and 2006 were about discrimination on the grounds of sex. In 2005, 33 complaints were lodged about discrimination on the grounds of sex, with 3 of them being about sexual harassment; in 2006, these numbers were 29 and 2, respectively. The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman imposed sanctions for violations of the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men on 4 persons in 2005 and 1 person in 2006. Decisions regarding other complaints were as follows: for about 30% complaints, warnings were given; for about another 30% complaints, the violators were urged to discontinue actions which violate equal rights or repeal the related act; and for another 30% complaints, investigations were discontinued because of the lack of objective evidence that the violations were actually committed.
23. A person affected by discrimination on the grounds of sex has the right to address to courts, not only to the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman. By the data of the National Courts Administration, no cases directly related to the discrimination on the grounds of sex were investigated by national courts in 2005-2006.
 
d)
 
24. As laid down in the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, public authorities and institutions must ensure, within their competence, that equal rights for women and men are guaranteed in all legal acts drafted and adopted by them, and draw up and implement programmes and measures aimed at ensuring equal opportunities of women and men.
 
e)
 
25. Amendments to the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men adopted in 2005 (Law No X-304 of 5 July 2005) have tightened the employer’s duty to ensure equal rights of women and men. The Law imposes a duty on the employer to take measures to protect the employee from hostile treatment, negative consequences and any other mistreatment as a response to the employee’s complaint about discrimination.
 
f)
 
26. When the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman detects, during investigation of complaints about discrimination on the grounds of sex, that a legal act is in conflict with the principle of equal opportunities for women and men, it shall have the right to address the appropriate institution and advise it to repeal or amend such legal act. There are from 8 to 10 instances every year, when the Office advises to repeal or amend legal acts violating equal rights of women and men.
 
Article 3
 
27. In addition to the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 which addresses gender equality issues in a number of different fields, other programmes adopted by the Government and being implemented also provide for measures aimed at ensuring gender equality, including special measures for the improvement of situation of women. Such other gender-mainstreamed programmes include, inter alia, the National Strategy for Mitigating the Consequences of the Population Ageing approved by the Government’s Resolution No 737 of 14 June 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 3501-95, 2004); the National Strategy of the Demographic (Population) Policy approved by the Government’s Resolution No 1350 of 28 October 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 159-5795, 2004); the National Programme for the Mother and Child for 2007 approved by Order No V-561 of 5 July 2007 of the Minister of Health (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 77-3107, 2007); and the Programme for the Prevention and Control of Trafficking in Human Beings for 2005-2008 approved by the Government’s Resolution No 558 of 19 May 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 65-2333, 2005).
28. By Resolution No 1270 of 22 November 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 139-5019, 2005), the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has approved a National Lisbon Strategy Implementation Programme. Goals of this Programme include the strengthening of partnerships, implementation of more flexible working arrangements, ensuring of adequate, safe and healthy working conditions, improvement of job efficiency, ensuring of higher supply of skilled labour force, increasing of internal labour mobility, promotion of life-long learning and primary vocational and continuous training, improvement of the reconciliation of work and family life. These goals are being pursued by improving legislation in the field of labour relations and employment policies; improving working arrangements; implementing measures aimed at promoting flexible forms of organisation of pre-school and pre-primary education and educational assistance to ensure child education, care and attendance and to create conditions for parents with family obligations to participate in the labour market; promoting corporate social responsibility and the development of family-friendly jobs.
29. The Government has approved, by Resolution No 1002 of 13 September 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 112-4091, 2005), Measures for 2005-2006 for the Implementation of the National Action Plan for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion for 2004-2006, aimed at improving the situation of the most disadvantaged groups of the public, enhancing their capacities and reducing poverty and social exclusion. These Measures pursue the goals of providing women and men belonging to poor and socially excluded groups with not only material goods or social services, but also opportunities to acquire adequate education, receive good quality health services, have a housing meeting the established public standards, safe and healthy working conditions, the possibility to choose and to influence decision-making in the most important fields of life. Particular attention is given to single mothers, battered women, victims of trafficking in human beings and vulnerable women groups.
30. By the data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Department of Statistics) which has conducted a survey on income and living conditions in 2005, women’s poverty risk was 21%; this did not differ much from men’s poverty risk which was 20%. Social benefits have helped to reduce the poverty risk and its difference between men and women. Poverty risk before social benefits differed between men and women by two percentage points and stood at 27% for women and 25% for men.
31. By Resolution No 948 of 5 September 2007 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 98-3977, 2007), the Government has approved a Plan of Measures for 2008-2010 for the Implementation of Family Welfare under the National Strategy of the Demographic (Population) Policy, which aims at: increasing employment of young people and developing flexible working arrangements; creating conditions for women and men to reconcile work and family life; improving child care and educational services; developing capacities of families to cope with psychological and social problems; ensuring safety of the child; enhancing the choice of housing for families with children; reducing poverty and social exclusion of families; analysing family birth developments and factors; determining the need for support to families; fostering common responsibility of the community and institutions for educating children.
32. Gender equality in all spheres is the objective of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 which has the following tasks: to change the stereotypes about men’s and women’s roles in the economic life of the country; to create conditions for women and men to reconcile work and family life as well as professional military service and duties in the family; to improve opportunities for women to restart career after a longer absence from the labour market and employment opportunities for older women; to improve opportunities for women to start and develop a business and to promote more active economic participation of women; to stimulate employers to set equal pay for equal work to men and women; to promote social partnership and develop social dialogue by ensuring gender equality in the labour market; to integrate gender equality issues in formal and non-formal education; to ensure better access for women to education, career, skill development; to enhance opportunities for women to hold managing and decision-making positions; to promote active participation of women in the social and political life; to improve the existing legal base providing for a longer isolation of a perpetrator from the family and governing its enforcement mechanism; to support NGO projects, especially those of crises centres, aimed at providing social assistance to victims of domestic violence and dealing with perpetrators; to address specific health problems of women and men; to seek a longer life expectancy of men, i.e. to reduce the gap between men’s and women’s average life expectancy; to educate and raise awareness on family planning and reproductive health issues, especially in rural areas; to ensure gender mainstreaming in the environment protection; to promote cooperation between central and municipal authorities and institutions, and educational and science institutions and NGOs, aimed at ensuring gender equality; to seek to strengthen the institutional mechanism of enforcing equal opportunities of women and men on the county and municipal levels; to strengthen civil servants’ and other personnel’s capacity to ensure equal opportunities of women and men; to improve skills of teachers, law enforcement and law-and-order officers and environmental specialists on gender equality issues; to spread, on the international level, Lithuania’s experience in ensuring equal opportunities of women and men; to conduct an extended assessment of developments in the position of women and men; to improve the collection and availability of statistical information segregated by sex, in cooperation with other institutions and NGOs collecting information and conducting surveys. The implementation measures of this Programme are financed from the state budget, also from the EU Structural Funds.
33. The implementation of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 has yielded positive results: growing level of women employment, decreasing women unemployment, shrinking gap between men and women employment. By the data of the Department of Statistics, the gap between women and men employment has shrunk from 7.6% in 2005 to 5.3% in 2006. Women employment rate has grown from 59.4% in 2005 to 61% in 2006, thus exceeding the target for 2010 set in the Lisbon strategy (60%). Women unemployment rate has dropped from 8.3% in 2005 (cf. 8.2% for men) to 5.4% in 2006, below the unemployment rate of men (5.8%) (see Tables 9, 10, 11 and 12 in the Annex). Women now have more employment opportunities, particularly in rural areas, and better conditions to start and develop a business. Women are actively taking the opportunities to find a job or start a private business. However, the share of women-business managers accounted for only 26%, as shown by the SME survey conducted by the Department of Statistics in 2006. By the data of the Statistical Office of the European Communities (hereinafter referred to as Eurostat) presented in the Report from the European Commission to the Council, European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions in 2006, Lithuania takes the fourth place by the employment gap between men and women in the EU. By the rate of employment of older women, Lithuania takes the eighth place in the EU.
34. Conditions for reconciliation of family and work duties are being improved. By the rate of employment of women with children under 12 years, Lithuania took the second place in the EU in 2006. In Lithuania, this issue was given the top priority out of eight other themes eligible for support under the EQUAL initiative of the European Communities. The EQUAL initiative has supported 7 projects focusing on the reconciliation of work and family life and on the reintegration of men and women into the labour market by developing more flexible and efficient working arrangements and implementing support measures. About LTL 9.2 million were made available to finance these projects. Under these projects, a model of a family-friendly workplace was developed; it will be applied in 2007-2013. In 2006, 20 projects of women NGOs and other institutions and organisations were supported from the European Social Fund which has contributed LTL 13.2 million for this purpose. These projects aimed at promoting employment of women, particularly older women and those who wanted to restart career after maternity leave; promoting gender-balanced participation in decision-making; changing the traditional stereotypes about men’s and women’s roles in the economic activity; reducing the horizontal segregation in the labour market and the pay gap between men and women.
35. In Lithuania, women’s education level continues to be higher than that of men. The share of women studying in Lithuania’s higher schools was 59.9% in 2005 and 60% in 2006. By Eurostat data of 2006, the share of women aged 18 to 24 years who left school prematurely without having acquired secondary education is much lower than that of men: 7% of women and 13.3% of men. Compared to 2000, the number of such women has gone down much faster than that of men. The share of women aged 18 to 24 years who left school prematurely without having acquired secondary education in this age group has dropped from 14.9% to 7%, whereas the corresponding share of men has dropped from 18.5% to 13.3%.
36. Capacities of civil servants in addressing gender equality issues are being strengthened. In 2005-2006, a training course on gender equality issues was organised for civil servants of many ministries. In 2006, about 300 servants participated in training courses organised under different projects.
37. Cooperation with Lithuanian women NGOs is being strengthened. The Government’s Resolution No 198 of 13 February 2007 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 23-883, 2007) has provided for true membership of women and men NGOs in the Commission for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men. Pursuant to the Regulations of this Commission, women and men NGOs have the right to independently select and delegate up to 4 representatives to the Commission. Women NGOs have delegated 2 representatives to the Commission. The personal composition of the Commission for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men has been approved by Order No A1-131 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour of 14 May 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 54-2114, 2007). The Government has financed the Fourth Lithuanian Women Conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the First Lithuanian Women Conference. The Fourth Women Conference was attended by over 2000 women from all regions of the country; the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 financially supported the dissemination of the results of the Conference in smaller towns of all regions. During this dissemination campaign, 22 towns were visited; meetings were attended by over 1000 women and men, rural communities, NGOs. The main purpose was not only to disseminate the results of the Conference, but also to promote a more active de facto implementation of equal opportunities of women and men on the local self-government level. Annual allocations are budgeted in the state budget for supporting membership of Lithuania’s women organisations in the European Women’s Lobby. Support has also been given to participation of women organisations in the Fourth Conference of the Nordic and Baltic states ‘WoMen and Democracy’. In 2001, this conference was held in Vilnius. Since 2005, the state budget has been supporting the Nordic-Baltic network of women NGOs for combating violence against women.
38. Sex statistics is being improved. The statistical publication ‘Women and Men in Lithuania 2005’ published by the Department of Statistics in 2006 gives, in addition to the main sex indicators, information about domestic violence and crime. Taking user needs into account, the data is segregated there by county, municipality and EU Member State.
39. Lithuania’s achievements in the field of gender equality are positively evaluated on the international level. In the Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum in the end of 2006, Latvia and Lithuania were ranked best from among the new Member States: Latvia was ranked as number 19, and Lithuania as number 21.
40. The highest acknowledgement of Lithuania’s achievements in the field of gender equality was the decision reached by common consent of representatives of governments of the EU Member States on 11 December 2006 (effective since 18 January 2007) to establish the European Institute for Gender Equality in Vilnius. The European Institute for Gender Equality will be an independent gender equality agency of the EU. The Institute will provide technical-informational assistance to the Commission and the EU Member States on gender equality issues; collect, systemise and analyse information, statistical and research data; develop methodological gender mainstreaming tools; organise conferences, events, etc. The Institute will start operations in 2008.
41. Gender mainstreaming in different spheres is tackled by a number of projects implemented by women NGOs and public and private institutions and organisations. Priority is given to the development of gender equality on the local level. The Social Innovation Fund and the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations for the Protection of Women’s Human Rights operating under coordination of the Fund are among the most active women organisations operating in this field. The Social Innovation Fund annually organises round-tables in all counties, discusses gender equality issues, collects and systemises information received and makes constructive proposals to the Government regarding gender equality problems to be addressed on the local level. Many projects are financed not only from the state budget, but also from the EU Structural Funds or other international funds. Gender equality on the local level is addressed by the project ‘Equality for Local Development: Gender Mainstreaming in Municipalities’ supported from the EU Structural Funds and the state budget. The project covers the period of 2006-2007 and is implemented by the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and other partners. The project pursues the following goals: to train and improve gender mainstreaming skills in municipal work; to increase gender sensitivity in local administration policies; to foster a debate on the advantages of and the need for gender equality.
 
Article 4
 
Paragraph 1
 
42. Legal preconditions have been created in the Republic of Lithuania to apply special measures to enforce gender equality. As laid down in Article 2(4)(6) of the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, specific temporary statutory measures which aim at accelerating de facto equality between men and women and which are to be discontinued once equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men have been de facto achieved shall not be considered discrimination on the grounds of sex. However, the application of such special measures in practice is problematic.
43. One of the reasons for inadequate application of these measures is legal. The special measures must be set in a special law, but constitutional law experts are of the opinion that the setting of special measure in a law might constitute a conflict with the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 33-1014, 1992) (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution). To enforce gender equality in politics, there have actually been proposals to set special measures in laws. However, in the opinion of constitutional law experts, a law which sets a quota on candidates of one sex to the Seimas is in direct conflict with the constitutional principle of equality of all persons. Therefore, they proposed to amend the Constitution first, before setting in laws the special measures for the de facto equality between men and women. The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman has received a complaint about the possibility to apply special measures; the complaint was rejected as no violation was established.
44. In Lithuania’s higher education system, no special measures are applied to ensure de facto equality between men and women. Equal conditions are ensured in Lithuania both for men and women to choose a profession, to study under the same curricula, to take the same examinations as well as to have equal access to study grants, education, diplomas, post-graduate studies, etc.
 
Article 5
 
a)
 
45. One of the main tasks of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is to change the traditional stereotypes about men’s and women’s roles in the economic activity. To implement this task, seminars are organised annually in cooperation with the Gender Studies Centre of Vilnius University for staff of the State Labour Inspectorate, labour market institutions, municipalities and social partners. The seminars target at changing the stereotypes about the role of men and women in the economic activity that affect the employability of men and women and add to the gap in employment, wages and economic position between men and women.
46. In 2005-2006, the Ministry of Culture has supported 19 NGO projects promoting non-stereotypical attitudes towards men’s and women’s roles. LTL 37 thou were given from the state budget to support these projects.
47. In 2005-2006, the Pedagogues Professional Development Centre implemented a number of qualification programmes which included such topics as the elimination of discriminatory social and cultural patterns and educational measures of impact in family education and in fostering proper understanding of the roles and responsibilities of sexes: ‘Development of Life Skills’ (attended by 80 general education school teachers), ‘Analysis of Family and Sexuality Education Programme’ (120 general education school teachers), ‘Physical, Emotional and Sexual Abuse of Children’ (100 general education school teachers), ‘Assistance to Abused Children’ (20 social pedagogues), ‘Social Discrimination among Children and Adolescents. Promotion of Children’s and Adolescents’ Motivation for Full Life and Education’ (40 class tutors, general education and vocational school social pedagogues).
48. To change the stereotypical attitudes and to enhance accessibility and efficiency of psychological assistance, 53 pedagogical-psychological offices have been set up within municipalities; they are fully operational and employ increasingly more staff. These services provide consultations to children, families and schools. Educational establishments increasingly set up positions of a social pedagogue, psychologist, assistant teacher, other specialists providing assistance. An important role in the formation of cultural behavioural patterns is played by class tutors; other school staff also have much influence on children’s self-valuation and self-cognition.
49. Much effort and time will have to be spared to change the traditional stereotypes. To address this issue, EU Structural Funds are used to support projects implemented by women organisations, research institutions and other organisations. One of the most successful projects is the ongoing project ‘Stereotypes of Gender Roles in Employment: Extensive Monitoring and Education System’ implemented, from 2006 to 2008, by the Gender Studies Centre of Vilnius University. The goal of the project is to change, coherently and professionally, traditional gender stereotypes that have a negative impact on equal opportunities of women and men in the field of employment.
50. The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman takes an active part as a coordinator or partner in projects coordinated by other organisations, aimed at changing the stereotypes about the role of men and women in the society and their image in the mass media. One of such projects is the project ‘Innovative Strategies of Educating Social Partners Seeking to Implement the Equal Opportunities Principle in Practice’ implemented by the Women Employment Information Centre of Kaunas in 2006-2007. The project pursues the following goals: to raise public awareness and promote intolerance for any manifestations of discrimination on the grounds of sex; to change the stereotypical attitudes towards men’s and women’s roles in the society and towards various excluded groups; to encourage men to take equal responsibility for children; to change the employer’s attitude towards women as a risk group.
51. The staff of the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman actively participate in radio and TV broadcasts propagating equality of women and men, organise meetings with the public as well as seminars and other events. They analyse the image of a woman and a man portrayed in the mass media and the developments in the men’s and women’s roles in the modern society; they also cooperate in organising trainings for police officers, public authorities and municipal staff on the issue of gender equality.
52. Since 2006, the association ‘Women Crises Centre of the County of Kaunas’ (hereinafter referred to as the Kaunas County Women Crises Centre) has been implementing the project ‘Gender Equality through Elimination of Stereotypes’. The goal of this project is to ensure equal opportunities of women and men in occupational and community activities by changing the stereotypes about women’s and men’s roles in the economic activity of the county. The project’s target group is persons who might play the most important role in changing the stereotypes about women’s and men’s roles in the economic activity. In the same year, the Women Employment and Information Centre of Anykščiai launched the project ‘Formation of Women’s Social Skills and Career with the Aim of Improving their Social Status, Independence and Positive Self-Evaluation’.
53. Advertising as one of public information media also plays a role in the formation of the woman’s and man’s image. The Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men prohibits such advertising of goods and services which would make the public to form an opinion that one sex is superior to another; the Law also prohibits discrimination of consumers on the grounds of sex. However, advertising in Lithuania is not gender-neutral yet.
54. Complaints about advertisements of goods and services accounted for 9% of all complaints lodged with the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman in 2005 and about 10% in 2006. These advertisements often portrayed women stereotypically, i.e. by showing up certain parts of the body, emphasizing weakness, portraying a woman as an easy-going and unintelligent creature capable of only luring and seducing men. In advertisements, women are often equated with objects, e.g. advertisements offer a choice: either you choose the product advertised or an attractive woman. In particular, parts of a woman’s body are often equated and compared with the products advertised. Such disrespectful portrayal of a woman in advertisements is complained about both by individual women and by women NGOs.
55. Having investigated a complaint, the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman always warn the creator of such offensive advertisement or the advertiser about the discriminatory character of the advertisement and try to explain the substance of the unethical advertisement. Advertisers and creators of advertisements often consult the Office in advance about the ethnicity of the future advertisement and discuss how to create the advertisement and how to portray the products advertised so that the public does not form an opinion that a certain group of persons is superior to other groups.
 
b)
 
56. Efforts are made to foster equal responsibility of women and men in the upbringing of their children and equal division of duties in the family. On 1 July 2006, amendments to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Labour Code (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 64-2569, 2002) (hereinafter referred to as the Labour Code) (as amended by the Law No X-660 of 8 June 2006) came into force; the amendments provide for the possibility for men to take paternity leave. Since then, pursuant to Article 1791 of the Labour Code, men can take paternity leave for the period of one month from the date of birth of the child. On 1 July 2006, amendments to certain articles of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Organisation of the National Defence System and Military Service (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 49-1325, 1998) (as amended by the Law No X-662 of 8 June 2006) came into force; the amendments provide for the possibility for men in the professional military service to take paternity leave.
57. During the paternity leave mentioned in paragraph 56 above, a paternity benefit is paid (pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 111-3574, 2000)). A father is eligible to a paternity benefit if he: is insured in accordance with Article 4(1) of that Law; has been given, in accordance with the procedure laid down in laws, a paternity leave until the child is one month old; has been covered by sickness and maternity social insurance for at least 7 months within the period of 24 months immediately proceeding his first paternity; is married to the mother of the child. At present, there is a draft law replacing the latter condition to cover fathers who are not married to the mother of the child. The paternity benefit amounts to 100% of the compensatory salary of the benefit recipient. The benefit may not be lower than one-third of the insured income of the current year applicable in the month in which the paternity leave was granted. 3085 men took paternity leave in the 2nd half of 2006 and 4207 in the 1st half of 2007.
58. If it is impossible to grant paternity leave to a professional military serviceman serving in a military unit of international operations, due to the location of the military unit or its readiness requirements, he will be paid a one-off benefit of the amount of his average salary calculated in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Government.
59. On 13 October 2005, amendments to Article 59 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Organisation of the National Defence System and Military Service (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 122-4362, 2005) came into force; the amendments provide for a longer parental leave for professional military servicemen and repeal the provision that if at the end of the parental leave there are no assignments commensurate with the serviceman’s qualifications, the serviceman shall be transferred to the reserve. The amendments provide that parental leave shall be granted until the child is three years old; after the parental leave, the serviceman shall be assigned to the position commensurate with his rank.
60. The possibility to reconcile work and family duties is an essential prerequisite for promoting common responsibility of women and men for the upbringing of their children. One of the main tasks of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is to create conditions for women and men to reconcile work and family duties. Measures aimed at implementing this task include the improvement of legislation, organisation of seminars for social partners about application of flexible working arrangements, educational events aimed at informing families on the possibilities to take parental leave, encouragement of fathers to take not only paternity leave but also parental leave until the child is three years old.
61. As part of implementation of projects promoting the reconciliation of work and family duties supported from the EQUAL Community initiative, 500 persons with family duties were given the possibility to reconcile work and family duties, to retain their jobs or to get a job. 450 of them participated in the training to receive or improve their professional qualifications, special professional knowledge and skills. 130 workers, specialists and volunteers acting in the field of reconciliation of work and family duties participated in training courses. A model of a family-friendly workplace was developed.
62. Since 2005, the Gender Studies Institute of Šiauliai University has been implementing one of the most successful projects ‘Family Universe: Family-Friendly Organisation’, which aims at creating a family-friendly studying and working environment in Šiauliai University, by developing and testing the innovative methodology and measures promoting the reconciliation of between work and family life and changing the stereotypes about gender roles in the family and work.
63. Since 2005, the WIIC has been implementing the project ‘FORWARD! Family and Work Reconciliation Development’ aimed at reducing exclusion of families with young children, by applying modern good practices and influencing political decisions on the grounds of such practices. Project target groups are low-income complete and incomplete families with young children: 60 families in total, 40 of them living in urban areas and 20 in rural areas. Project objectives are: to develop, by using international experience, and test 2 models reconciling work and family duties, one of them to be developed for rural and the other for urban communities.
64. In 2004-2005, the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman was implementing the EU-supported project ‘Modern Men in the Enlarged Europe’. The project was extended to 2005-2006 and was renamed into ‘Modern Men in the Enlarged Europe: Family-Friendly Working Environment’. The main goals of these projects are to encourage men to reconcile work and family duties and to more actively participate in the family life, and to encourage employers to introduce innovative working arrangements facilitating a better reconciliation of work and family duties and to take new initiatives to create a more productive working atmosphere.
 
Article 6
 
65. The Government continues to pursue consistent and targeted policy of control and prevention of trafficking in human beings in conformity with international legal norms.
Below is detailed information on the situation in Lithuania in the field of legally regulated and actual combat against trafficking in human beings.
66. In 2004, Lithuania ratified the Optional Protocol of 2000 to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989 on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, by passing the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Ratification of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 108-4028, 2004). The provisions of the Protocol came into force in the Republic of Lithuania on 5 September 2004. On 7 February 2007, the Government approved, by Resolution No 208 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 26-957, 2007) the Report on the Implementation of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
67. Lithuania actively participated in the elaboration of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The Convention was opened for signature by the Member States on 16 May 2005, at the 3rd European Summit in Warsaw. The Convention regulates prevention of trafficking in human beings, protection of the victims, and criminal liability of the traffickers. The Convention is gender-mainstreamed, with much focus on assistance to the victims of trafficking in human beings and their reintegration into the society. Seeking to accede to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings as soon as possible, Lithuania has already initiated all actions necessary to be performed to sign the Convention.
68. Criminal liability for trafficking in human beings is being tightened. On 23 June 2005, the Seimas passed the Law Amending Articles 48, 60, 145, 147, 157, 212, 213, 214, 215, 226, 249, 251, 252, 256, 267, 270, 272, 274 and 280 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania and Amending and Supplementing the Annex of the Code and Supplementing the Code with Articles 1471, 1991, 1992, 2671, 2701, 3081 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 81-2945, 2005) The amended Article 147 (Trafficking in Human Beings) of the Criminal Code and Article 157 (Procurement or Sale of a Child) of the Criminal Code imposes stricter sanctions for these acts and sets criminal liability on legal persons for these acts. The Criminal Code was also supplemented by adding a new criminal act, i.e. exploitation for the purpose of forced labour (Article 1471 of the Criminal Code), to set criminal liability on persons who, by using physical force or threatening or otherwise depriving a person of the possibility to resist or playing upon a person’s dependability, have illegally forced the person to perform a certain work or to work under slavery or other inhuman conditions. This Law has transposed the provisions of the Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA of 19 July 2002 on combating trafficking in human beings (OL 2004 Special Edition, Chapter 19, Volume 6, p. 52). Statistical information of 2005-2006 related to Article 147 of the Criminal Code is given in Table 3 of the Annex hereto.
69. During 2005, 24 pre-trial investigations were started under Article 307 (Deriving Profit from Another Person's Prostitution) of the Criminal Code, 7 of which were about derivation of profit from a minor’s prostitution. Under Article 308 (Engaging Another Person into Prostitution) of the Criminal Code, 6 pre-trial investigations were initiated. It should be noted that this criminal activity involves trafficking in human beings. There have been cases, when the criminal activity of trafficking in human beings has been requalified, in the failure to prove it, into the criminal activity of deriving profit from another person’s prostitution or engaging another person into prostitution. In many cases, trafficking in human beings was disclosed by applying the criminal activity imitation model or intercepting trafficked women at border control posts.
70. In 2006, 3 pre-trial investigations were started under Article 157 (Procurement or Sale of a Child) of the Criminal Code and 33 pre-trial investigations under Article 307 (Deriving Profit from Another Person’s Prostitution), 17 of which were about derivation of profit from a minor’s prostitution. Under Article 308 (Engaging Another Person into Prostitution) of the Criminal Code, 17 pre-trial investigations were initiated. These crimes also involve trafficking in human beings. In 2006, no pre-trial investigations were initiated under Article 1471 (Exploitation for the Purpose of Forced Labour) of the Criminal Code.
71. Improvements are being made in legal provisions aimed at combating sexual exploitation and pornography. These problems particularly affect women. The Law Amending Articles 149, 150, 162, 260, 265, 266, 307, 308 and 309 of the Criminal Code and Amending and Supplementing the Annex of the Code and Supplementing the Code with Article 1511 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 77-2961, 2006) has amended Article 162 (Child Exploitation for Pornographic Purposes) and Article 309 (Dealing in Items of Pornographic Content) of the Criminal Code. The amendments have tightened liability for these offences. The maximum punishment of imprisonment fixed in the sanction part of Article 162(1) of the Criminal Code has been raised to five years. A new paragraph 3 has been added to Article 309 of the Criminal Code, which singles out and tightens liability for the production, possession or dissemination of large quantities of pornographic items portraying a young child. The sanction part of this new paragraph imposes a single possible punishment – imprisonment of up to five years.
72. In 2005, the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Lithuania (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 1-1, 1985) was amended (by Law No X-249 of 16 June 2005) to impose administrative liability for using prostitution services for a fee. Pursuant to Article 1821 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the CAO), the provision or use of prostitution services for a fee carries a fine of 300 to 500 litas. The CAO has also been supplemented with a provision that administrative liability shall not be applied on a person who has been engaged into prostitution by virtue of his/her being financially, professionally or otherwise dependable or by using physical or mental coercion or fraud or who has been engaged into prostitution, in any manner, being a minor and/or who has become a victim of trafficking in human beings and has been recognised as a victim in criminal proceedings. 7 such offences were recorded in 2005-2006, and 4 offences in the first five months of 2007. The offenders were brought to administrative liability, with fines from 300 to 500 litas imposed on them.
73. On 28 November 2006, the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 73-2539, 2004) was supplemented with Article 491, which regulates the issuance of a temporary residence permit to an alien who cooperates with a pre-trial investigation body or a court in combating trafficking in human beings or other crimes involving trafficking in human beings. The Article lays down that an alien who is mediated for by a pre-trial investigation body or a court shall be issued a temporary residence permit for 6 months.
74. On 11 September 2006, amendments to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Provision of Information to the Public (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 82-3254, 2006) came into force; the amendments give a definition of information of pornographic nature, impose restrictions on the publication and dissemination of information of pornographic nature, set the principles of protection of minors against detrimental effects of information on their development, define the concept of advertising and the requirements for its contents, define the competence of the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania and the Inspector of Journalist Ethics to monitor compliance with the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Protection of Minors against Detrimental Effect of Public Information (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 91-3890, 2002), etc. The amendments aim at ensuring a better control of publication and dissemination of this kind of information, since the control function will now be performed by a public official. Pursuant to the earlier version of the Law on the Provision of Information to the Public (Law No I-1418 of 2 July 1996), the control function was performed by the Journalist and Publisher Ethics Commission. Article 2478 of the CAO authorises the Inspector of Journalist Ethics to apply administrative liability under Article 21419 of the CAO on mass media for violations of the requirements for publishing and disseminating information having detrimental effect on the development of minors, the publication and dissemination whereof is restricted or prohibited.
75. Increasingly more assistance is given to victims of trafficking in human beings. On 1 September 2006, the Law on Support for Employment came into force. Pursuant to this Law, victims of trafficking in human beings, who have completed psycho-social and/or vocational rehabilitation programmes are additionally supported in the labour market. On these grounds, persons who deliver certificates on the completion of such programmes are eligible to benefit from supported employment measures financed from the Employment Fund. The provisions of the Law are being implemented in cooperation with labour exchanges and institutions as well as NGOs providing social assistance to the victim.
76. The overall objective of the Programme for the Prevention and Control of Trafficking in Human Beings for 2005-2008 is the development and setting up in the Republic of Lithuania of a targeted, long-term and complex system of measures of control and prevention of trafficking in human beings. The goal of the Programme is to address, in a complex, consistent and systematic manner and on the national level, problems related to trafficking in human beings and the prevention and control of prostitution. The main directions of the Programme are: stronger protection of rights and freedoms for victims of trafficking in human beings; effective prevention of trafficking in human beings; social assistance to victims (particularly children and women) of trafficking in human beings, their protection and reintegration into the society; effective combat against organised crime and individual crimes involving trafficking in human beings; close and coordinated cooperation between public and municipal authorities and institutions and non-public and international organisations in combating trafficking in human beings and in providing a complex set of assistance to the victims to ensure their protection and reintegration into the society.
77. Reintegration of victims of trafficking in human beings into the society and labour market is among the priorities of the Programme for the Prevention and Control of Trafficking in Human Beings for 2005-2008. In pursuance of this goal, allocations are made annually in the state budget to support projects of public authorities and NGOs aimed at providing social assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings, their protection and reintegration into the society. To illustrate, 11 projects were supported from the state budget in 2005; 287 victims of trafficking in human beings (all of them were women) were given assistance, 73 of them were provided with accommodation and the remaining with counselling services and information. Out of 287 victims of trafficking in human beings who participated in the projects, 76 acquired general and/or vocational education, 63 were integrated into the labour market and 107 were reintegrated into the society. Most of the victims of trafficking in human beings who took part in the projects were relatively young girls and women: nearly 70% of them were younger than 26 years.
78. In 2006, 13 projects were supported from the state budget, covering 402 victims of trafficking in human beings, 3 of whom were men and 399 women (including 111 mothers). 83 victims (35 with children) were provided with accommodation and 319 (76 with children) with counselling services and information. Out of 402 victims of trafficking in human beings who participated in the projects, 90 acquired general and/or vocational education, 122 were integrated into the labour market, 149 were reintegrated into the society and 245 attended retraining and/or computer literacy courses, resumed studies, attended various lectures and were given counselling services. LTL 400 thou is allocated annually in the state budget for such projects.
79. There are 4 specialised consulting-rooms in Vilnius (2 for gynaecological and for 1 psychological consultations and 1 for social services), where women engaging in prostitution can receive medical and social assistance. By the data of the Ministry of Health, primary contacts were made with 213 of such women in 2006: 144 of them were given medical and other assistance, 72 were examined and given consultations on sexually transmitted infections (STIs); 36 women were given further consultations and medical treatment. To help such women to reintegrate into the society, social education courses were organised; these were attended by 41 women. In addition, mutual assistance groups were organised, where women shared information important to them (12 women participated), and psychological sessions (18 sessions in all), where 27 women were taught self-supporting and confidence-building exercises. Moreover, a group of volunteers (7 volunteers) was formed and trained to provide assistance to women offering sexual services on the street.
80. In 2006, the Social Analyses and Consultations Centre conducted a study ‘Overview of the Situation in Lithuania of Minors Victimised by Trafficking in Human Beings and an Outline of Rehabilitation Programme for Minors Victimised by Trafficking in Human Beings’. The conclusions of the study describe the dynamics and trends of development of the number of victims of trafficking in human beings, give an assessment of services provided to them, analyse modern practices applied by the EU Member States in the field of rehabilitation of minors victimised by trafficking in human beings, identify the extent of the problem in Lithuania, and give an outline of rehabilitation programme for minors victimised by trafficking in human beings.
81. A law enforcement institutional system was set up for combating trafficking in human beings: in 2006, a specialised Division for Investigating Trafficking in Human Beings was established within the Criminal Police Bureau of Lithuania; 32 specialised prosecutors from the Prosecutor General’s Office and regional prosecutor’s offices as well as from some district prosecutor’s offices were assigned, by the Prosecutor General’s order, to coordinate, organise and steer investigations of criminal acts involving trafficking in human beings; the Pre-trial Investigation Control Division of the Prosecutor General’s Office has been charged with the task of periodically analysing and summarising the status in Lithuania of criminal proceedings for pre-trail investigation of trafficking in human beings and prosecutory control, and the Public Prosecution Division with the task of periodically analysing and summarising public prosecution and court practices in criminal proceedings for trafficking in human beings. To strengthen this system, 10 positions were established in 10 higher-level police units in 2007 to combat trafficking in human beings. Thus, the tasks of prevention and control of trafficking in human beings become increasingly decentralised and better coordinated.
82. Capacities are being strengthened in various fields to deal with victims of trafficking in human beings. In 2005, a training course was organised under the training programme ‘Peculiarities of Dealing with Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings and Forms of Assistance’. The course aimed at familiarising social workers, social pedagogues, police officers and other social partners with the concept of trafficking in human beings, the dynamics and prevalence of this phenomenon, and the forms of assistance. Furthermore, the methodological publication prepared for social workers by the International Organisation for Migration in cooperation with Vilnius university, ‘Trafficking in Women: Problems, Prevention, Assistance to Victims’, was updated and re-published.
83. The Commander of the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the SBGS) has approved, by Order No 4-711 of 28 December 2005, methodological guidelines for state border guard officers ‘On the Early Prevention of Illegal Transportation of Minors Abroad with an Intention of Sale’.
In 2006, the Criminal Police Bureau of Lithuania organised a training course (seminars) for police officers, ‘The Specifics of Investigation of Trafficking in Human Beings’, in the Lithuanian Police Training Centre. The SBGS organised a training course for state border guard officers, ‘Trafficking in Human Beings, Prevention and Control of Prostitution’, in Kaunas Police Faculty of Mykolas Romeris University.
84. In 2006, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour organised a seminar ‘Prevention, Reintegration of Victims, and Gaps in Legal Regulation’. The seminar was attended by 46 municipal social workers, social pedagogues, and staff of child rights protection services. Furthermore, a seminar ‘Problems of Reintegration of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings and their Solutions’ was organised for managers, finance specialists and social workers of organisations that implement projects financed by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.
85. Public authorities and institutions actively cooperate with NGOs in tackling the problem of trafficking in human beings. In 2006, the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Police Department under the Ministry of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the Police Department) organised meetings with most active NGOs providing assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings, to discuss possible improvements of cooperation. In 2006, the Police Department signed a cooperation agreement with the Lithuanian Caritas Organisation on the exchange of information on trafficking in human beings and the provision of assistance to the victims. This is the second agreement of this kind in the Baltic States (the first one was signed in 2004 between the Police Department and the Missing Persons Families Support Centre).
86. Collection of information about victims of trafficking in human beings is being improved. In 2006, a depersonalised common database of victims of trafficking in human beings was developed and launched, to be used by social assistance institutions. The database facilitates the exchange of information on victims of trafficking in human beings between NGOs. The statistical and analytical information is updated biannually and may also be accessed by public authorities. The database is fed with not only quantitative data on the age and education of the victims, the country of destination and the like, but also qualitative information on the means of enticement and on the assistance provided to the victims by NGOs, etc.
87. Prevention of trafficking in human beings is actively pursued. Awareness campaigns against trafficking in human beings are organised every year. In 2006, a video clip was created and broadcasted on the national TV and an audio clip was aired on the radio station most popular among the youth. Special informational actions are organised in night clubs. Posters with the slogan ‘Tell Life from Illusion. Don’t Become a Commodity’ were fixed in transport stops and on special stands and published in newspapers. Informational materials were distributed to all schools of Lithuania: 10,000 posters, 10,000 pocket calendars, 4,000 pens, 60,000 postcards, 40,000 stickers and other items informing about threats posed by trafficking in human beings and about sources of assistance to the victims. Moreover, about 10,000 schoolchildren were shown, free of charge, a feature film ‘Lilija Forever’ based on the true story of a girl who was sold.
88. Lithuania actively contributes to international and regional cooperation for combating trafficking in human beings. It is also an active participator in the activities of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings, also in the activities of the European Police Office (Europol) Working Group against Trafficking in Human Beings, and the Operational Expert Group for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the CBSS Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings. Lithuania also actively participated in the activities of the Nordic Baltic Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings operating on a high political level, which was operational before June 2006.
89. The Police Department actively participated in the Steering Committee of the International Criminal Police (Interpol) Task Force against Trafficking in Women for Sexual Exploitation. At the Committee’s meeting on 18-19 April 2006 in Bucharest (Romania), a representative of the Police Department was appointed the Committee’s representative for Europe.
90. Vilnius hosted an international seminar ‘Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings in Lithuania: Problems and Solutions’ organised on 26 April 2005. An international scientific-practical conference ‘International Cooperation to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings’ was also held in Vilnius, on 14-15 December 2006. This year, a conference ‘Prevention of Trafficking in Human Beings: Challenges and Solutions’ to be organised jointly by the Government, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention is scheduled on 25-26 October 2007 in Vilnius. The conference will be devoted to discussions on the reduction of the demand for trafficking in human beings and the role of businesses, mass media and education in preventing trafficking in human beings.
91. In 2005-2006, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Republic of Lithuania was further promoting international co-operation, calling for a more active exchange of information relating to the provision of assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings. By the data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there was a significant drop in the number of victims of trafficking in human beings who turned to foreign embassies of the Republic of Lithuania for assistance in 2006. In 2005-2006, diplomatic missions and consular posts of the Republic of Lithuania provided assistance to 53 victims of trafficking in human beings: 39 persons in 2005 and 14 persons in 2006. This prompts a conclusion that this downward development was a result of efficient cooperation between Lithuanian and foreign competent authorities.
92. Women NGOs are active implementers of projects aimed at the prevention of trafficking in women and the provision of assistance to the victims. Since 2006, the WIIC has been participating in the project ‘European Network against Trafficking in Women 2006’. The goal of the project is to unite European organisations for the combat against trafficking in human beings, to draw the attention of high-rank officials and politicians to this problem and to propose effective solutions. As part of this project, an international study is being conducted in seven EU Member States. The purpose of the study is to ascertain the level of knowledge of high-rank officials and competent authorities about the problem of trafficking in human beings in individual states. The study is anonymous; its results will be made available on the website www.aretusa.net.
93. Since 2006, the WIIC has been implementing a project supported by the European Women’s Lobby ‘Assistance, Protection, Safe Repatriation and Rehabilitation of Women Sold for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation’. The goal of the project is to set up an interinstitutional Baltic-Nordic network that will bring together public authorities and NGOs providing assistance to victims of trafficking in women, and to develop a sustainable regional model. The project aims at providing legal, social, economic, medical, psychological and safety assistance to victims of trafficking in women, ensuring safe return and reintegration of the victims to their country of origin and their access to all necessary services.
94. Vilnius Office of the International Organisation for Migration has launched a new website devoted to trafficking in human beings (www.darbaz.lt), which gives, in the form adapted for young people, general information about trafficking in human beings and its potential threats. The website also gives information about where assistance can be sought by people who have fallen into traffickers’ hands and what steps should be taken if this happens. Furthermore, potential or actual victims of trafficking in human beings can consult here a qualified social worker, psychologist and lawyer (consultations are also provided on a toll-free telephone line 8 800 25252 (which is indicated in the website)).
95. Every year, the U.S. Department of State conducts an assessment of the efforts of foreign governments in combating trafficking in human beings, pursuant to the U.S. Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. All countries are classified into four groups: those which fully comply with the minimum standards and make maximum effort (Tier 1); those which make less effort (Tier 2); those which have serious problems in combating trafficking in human beings (Tier 3); and those on the Watch List (in-between Tier 1 and Tier 3). In 2006, the Department of State rated the results of 150 countries of the world in the field of combating trafficking in human beings; the rating was performed on the basis of information collected by diplomatic missions, public authorities, NGOs and other independent sources. 25 countries were rated as Tier 1 countries, 79 countries as Tier 2, 12 countries as Tier 3, and the remaining countries as Tier 4. Thanks to the implementation of national measures for combating trafficking in human beings, Lithuania has been rated as Tier 1 country, i.e. a country which makes maximum effort in combating trafficking in human beings, for already 4 years in turn.
 
Article 7
 
a)
 
96. Women acquire increasingly more motivation, competence and capacities to participate in decision-making. More and more women exercise their right to be elected to publicly elected bodies and to participate in the formulation and implementation of government policy. By the data of the Central Electoral Committee, 31 women (20.57%) and 110 men (79.43%) were elected to the Seimas and 5 women and 8 men to the European Parliament during the elections in 2004. During the elections to municipal councils in 2002, 321 (21%) women were elected. There was a slight increase in this number in 2007: out of 1504 candidates elected to municipal councils, 337 (22%) were women. In some regions, women participation in municipal councils reached 40%.
97. In the 2007 elections to municipal councils, women accounted for 39.44% of the total number of candidates on the lists of various political parties or coalitions. In many towns and regions, the number of women appearing No 1 on the list varied between 8–30%; in 2 regions, the number of women and men on the top of the lists was equal. In only a few towns and regions, the share of women in the top ten candidates was below 30%, and in none of them below 20%. In the total number of top ten candidates on all lists for the 2007 elections to municipal councils, women accounted for 34% (data of the Central Electoral Committee).
 
b)
 
98. Women participation in politics and decision-making is one of the priority directions of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009. Since 2005, seminars ‘Gender-Balanced Participation in Decision-Making in Local Self-Government’ have been organised annually in cooperation with the Women Employment Information Centre of Kaunas, as part of implementing measures under the above-mentioned programme. The seminars aim at promoting women’s motivation to participate in political and economic decision-making processes. The issue of gender-balanced participation in decision-making has been tackled by projects supported from the EU Structural Funds since 2004. Seminars and training courses organised by the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman and NGOs also have a positive impact on women participation in public and political life.
99. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Lithuanian Women Conference, women organisations, municipalities and the Government organised, by joint effort, the Fourth Lithuanian Women Conference in 2005. The Steering Committee of the Conference was chaired by Ms. Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, the Minister of Social Security and Labour. Women from all regions of Lithuania had the opportunity to discuss the most important events that happened in the women’s community life, to evaluate and compare the developments in women situation in municipalities and counties over the 15 years since the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, to identify the hottest problems and to discuss and propose concrete solutions to these problems. The preparatory work in each county or municipality was carried out by women organisations authorised to represent the Steering Committee of the Conference. The results of the Fourth Lithuanian Women Conference were disseminated through the awareness campaign, during which 22 smaller towns (with population below 2000) in all counties were visited.
100.                                               By the data of the Civil Service Department under the Ministry of the Interior, women accounted for about 70% of career civil servants, excluding statutory civil servants, and about 60% of civil servants of political (personal) confidence in 2006. However, about 70% of senior managers of public authorities were men. The numbers of civil servants segregated by job positions groups, excluding statutory civil servants, and sex, for 2005-2006 are given in Table 4 in the Annex hereto.
101.                                               The share of women in managing positions of any level accounted for 40% in Lithuania in 2006. By Eurostat data presented in the 2006 Report from the European Commission to the Council, European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, Lithuania takes the second place by the number of women-managers of any level in the EU. By the data of the EU database ‘Women and Men in Decision-Making’, Lithuania is number seven in the EU by the number of women in top managing positions in the largest business companies.
 
Article 8
 
102.                                               Increasingly more women work in the diplomatic service and run for leading positions. By the data of 2007, the share of women in the diplomatic service accounts for over 53%, and the share of women holding leading positions in the diplomatic service has grown to 16%. The numbers of women in the diplomatic service in 2005-2007 are given in Table 5 in the Annex hereto.
 
Article 9
 
103.                                               Information on the implementation of Article 9 of the Convention was given in the Third Report. No legislative changes were introduced in this field in 2005-2006.
 
Article 10
 
a)
 
104.                                               Equal opportunities for everybody to acquire education have been ensured at general education schools. Pre-school, primary, basic and secondary education is among the top priorities of the education policy and forms the basis for life-long learning. Legal acts governing basic and secondary education (Order No ISAK-1387 of 30 June 2006 of the Minister of Education and Science ‘On the Approval of Secondary Education Curriculum’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 76-2930, 2006), and Order No ISAK-604 of 4 April 2007 of the Minister of Education and Science ‘On General Education Plans for 2007-2008’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 44-1691, 2007)) provide for all possible measures to guarantee equal opportunities. All schoolchildren have equal opportunities to choose among the optional subjects and modules, engage in extra-curriculum activities, and stand for elections to school self-government bodies. Secondary education curriculum is built on the principle of individualisation and differentiation of education according to the schoolchildren’s needs, tastes and capabilities; effort is made to enable them to plan their professional career, to select the subjects relevant to the line chosen, and to choose among different courses. Higher individualisation and differentiation of education will be sought to improve the quality of secondary education so that every schoolchild can choose a learning direction according to his/her talents, tastes and needs; to enhance accessibility of secondary education; to adapt the academic contents of the curriculum to the current needs of life; to strengthen the link between general education and vocational training; to create wider opportunities to continue studies at higher education institutions for those who had chosen different learning directions.
105.                                               The Minister of Education and Science has approved, by Order No ISAK-970 of 23 May 2007 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 63-2440, 2007), a Strategy of Formation, Evaluation, Renewal and Implementation of the General Education Curriculum Contents; the overall objective of the Strategy is to define the goals and principles of the curriculum contents process, functions and responsibilities of educational levels in this process, priorities of the curriculum contents process until 2012 and their implementation indicators. The goals of the curriculum contents process is to adapt the curriculum contents in such a way that every schoolchild matures as a personality according to his/her needs and capabilities, forms civil and ethic self-consciousness, and acquires competences necessary for further studies and for full and active life in the modern society.
106.                                               The Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Education (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 23-593, 1991; No 63-2853, 2003) (hereinafter referred to as the Law on Education) gives the right to everybody, irrespective of sex, to choose and acquire qualified professional education and to make use of the privileges provided for those who study. For justified reasons, e.g. health problems, higher school students can take academic leave, including maternity leave and parental leave until the child is three years old.
107.                                               Order No ISAK-604 of 4 April 2007 of the Minister of Education and Science prescribes that the training process in vocational schools shall be organised by taking account of the specifics of the vocational training curriculum. Teaching methods are adapted to the capabilities of students, specific character of the curriculum, teaching base, without any differentiation on the grounds of sex.
108.                                               Evaluation and certification of the advancement and attainments of a student is gender-neutral. If a person’s attainment over the relevant year in all subjects of the curriculum has been evaluated as satisfactory or above, it is considered that the person has successfully completed the basic vocational training programme and is entitled to take qualification examinations, the successful passing whereof leads to a certification that the person has acquired the professional qualification.
109.                                               The Procedure of Final Qualification Examinations in the Basic Vocational Training approved by Order No ISAK-991 of 1 June 2005 of the Minister of Education and Science (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 72-2622, 2005) regulates the acquisition of qualification, the certification of education results and the evaluation of attainments irrespective of sex; also, persons who study independently are provided with the possibility to acquire professional qualification.
110.                                               Other efforts include the development and implementation of vocational information, consultation and guidance system, the setting-up of vocational information points, the provision of such points with technical equipment, the training of specialists working in such points. The Minister of Education and Science and the Minister of Social Security and Labour have approved, by Order No ISAK-739/A1-116 of 29 April 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 60-2132, 2005), the Requirements for the Provision of Vocational Information and Consultation Services aimed at helping people to make use of the opportunities in the field of education, training and employment and to actively pursue a professional career. These services, irrespective of sex, are targeted both at those who have not started their professional career yet and those who already have a record of employment, also at the unemployed and employers.
111.                                               In 2005, 56,000 students studied in colleges, with 33,000 (58.9%) of them being women. In many fields, the number of women among college students exceeded that of men by several times. In certain professions, which were few, like IT, engineering, manufacturing and processing, architecture and construction, agriculture, forestry and fishery, and transport, male students dominated over female students.
112.                                               In 2005-2006, 138,000 students studied in higher schools, with 83,000 (60%) of them being women. There were twice as many women than men in the total number of specialists trained. On all levels of studies, women also dominated over men. Women dominate over men in most study programmes, except in such male-dominated fields as engineering and engineering-related professions, architecture and construction, transport, environmental protection. There were also more women than men studying on the third stage (post-graduate) of higher education in humanitarian, social, natural sciences, biomedicine faculties of universities. The only exception was technology studies, where the number of female students was only 207 out of 548. Statistical data on the number of specialists trained by universities in 2005-2006, segregated by the stage of studies, is given in Table 6 in the Annex hereto.
 
b)
 
113.                                               The Law on Education guarantees equal access to the same curricula, teaching methods, teaching aids, and premises and equipment of the same quality at general education schools.
114.                                               Vocational training curricula are developed in accordance with the requirements for professional competence and general skills in the relevant field, irrespective of where the curriculum will be followed – rural or urban vocational school. There is not a single vocational training curriculum in the Register of Study and Training Programmes, which is designed either for women only or for men only (Order No ISAK-90 of 17 January 206 of the Minister of Education and Science ‘On the Approval of the Procedure for Developing and Approving Basic Vocational Training Curricula’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 8-302, 2006).
115.                                               Vocational schools ensure, by laying this down in their Regulations, equal access for all schoolchildren to the school library, gym, textbooks, teaching aids and premises of the same quality, accommodation in the dormitory, school self-governance, sports events and physical exercises, and equal opportunities to choose other means of self-expression, etc.
 
c)
 
116.                                               One of the main directions of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in education and science. The Programme identifies the following problems: teachers lack knowledge in the field of gender equality; although female students dominate in higher schools, they choose less promising professions in terms of career and income; there is a large disproportion of women and men in the highest-level studies. Actions aimed at addressing these problems include gender mainstreaming in formal and non-formal education curricula, organisation of training courses for teachers and social pedagogues on gender equality issues, development of the strategy ‘Women and Education’.
117.                                               The Procedure for Supplying Schools with Textbooks and Teaching Aids on General Education Subjects’ approved by Order No ISAK-2 of 4 January 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 7-216, 2005) provides that textbooks shall be developed and assessed by respecting the principle of equal opportunities, i.e. textbooks shall promote equity with respect to sex, age, special needs (disability), social status, race or belonging to a certain ethnic group, religion or beliefs.
118.                                               The former subject of handicraft and household works was replaced with general technology programmes. The general technology programmes include entrepreneurship and consumer awareness classes. All technology programmes are prepared so as to suit both genders, therefore girls and boys are taught in mixed groups.
119.                                               The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman has received complaints about possible discrimination on the grounds of sex in education; the results of investigations under the complaints have shown that girls’ attainments are better than those of boys. Therefore, pursuant to Article 3(2) of the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men which defines the duty of public authorities and administrations to draw up and implement, within their competence, programmes and measures aimed at ensuring equal opportunities of women and men, the Ministry of Education and Science was proposed to consider the possibility to develop special teaching programmes aimed at motivating boys to seek for better performance at school and deeper knowledge.
120.                                               In 2006, the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman received a complaint about an improper and degrading portrayal of a woman in teaching aids. The investigation of the complaint about discrimination against women in a textbook, where a digit-memorisation technique is taught and a woman is equated with a zero, has revealed that the textbook promotes discrimination against women. Therefore, the Education Development Centre and the Ministry of Education and Science were approached with the proposal to eliminate from the textbook of the Lithuanian language the teaching method or technique which promotes discrimination against women. The proposal was accepted and it was laid down that promotion of stereotypical discriminatory attitudes in future teaching programmes shall be prohibited.
 
d)
 
121.                                               Pursuant to the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men, education and science institutions must ensure the same opportunities for women and men to benefit from scholarships and study grants.
 
e)
 
122.                                               A new wording of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Vocational Education and Training was passed on 3 April 2007 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 43-1627, 2007). The Law aims at implementing life-long learning policy.
123.                                               Over 2005, labour market training centres have trained 28.2 thou persons, including 10.9 thou women. Out of those directed to the training, 8.8 thou women (61%) were directed by local labour exchanges, 0.8 thou women (8.6%) by employers, and 1.1 thou women (24%) went to the training at their own expense. Over 2006, labour market training centres have trained 29.1 thou persons, including 10.5 thou women. Out of those directed to the training, 7.5 thou women (60%) were directed by local labour exchanges, 0.7 thou women (6.9%) by employers, and 1.1 thou women (23.4%) went to the training at their own expense.
 
f)
 
124.                                               Since 2005, the Ministry of Education and Science has been implementing the project ‘Return of Early School Leavers’ supported from the EU Structural Funds. The project aims at encouraging schoolchildren who left school prematurely to come back to general education school, by improving accessibility, efficiency and quality of pedagogical-psychological assistance, improving professional qualifications of the staff of pedagogical-psychological services, strengthening the methodological base of these services. Efforts are made to develop a model of returning early school leavers to education and of preventing further drop out.
 
g)
 
125.                                               In Lithuania, all schoolchildren are given equal access to general physical training programmes and educational standards. There are also equal opportunities for everybody to take an active part in sport events and physical training exercises. The contents of formal and supplementary education is differentiated with regard to the schoolchildren’s age and gender. Thus, anatomical, physiological, psychological and social peculiarities of gender are taken into account (without discrimination). In general education schools and vocational training and sport establishments, girls and young women may choose among non-formal sporting activities (supplementary education) in accordance with their tastes and capabilities on equal terms with boys and young men. However, much more boys and young men than girls and young women go in for sports. This is explained by a lower motivation of girls for exercise and sports. Girls are more particular about the quality of hygiene conditions; furthermore, they are often more diligent and therefore spend more time on studying.
Those who intend to study in the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania have to meet physical fitness standards applicable to the military staff; the standards are differentiated by sex and age.
126.                                               By the data of Lithuania’s Sports Statistical Yearbook, 97 sport schools operated in the country in 2006; they were attended by 46,253 schoolchildren, including 13,098 girls. In Lithuania, the overall number of children who attend sport schools is decreasing, girls being no exception. Differently, the number of women in sports has been growing since 2000 (cf. 27.8% in 2000, 27.19% in 2002, 27.98% in 2004, and 29.55% in 2006). There are young women even in very “manly” branches of sport: currently, 13 young women attend boxing classes; 411 football; 472 judo; 32 Greek and Roman wrestling; 12 sambo self-defence; 24 free wrestling; 19 weightlifting; 11 Kyokushin karate; 8 karate; 16 arm-wrestling; 43 rugby; 10 fencing; 4 water-polo; 48 sailing; 36 underwater swimming.
 
h)
 
127.                                               School programmes of all types promote, without differentiation between sexes, social and ethnic values that foster family and society morals and promote critical thinking and ability to properly judge norms of ethics. To prepare young people for life, marriage and family, to help them understand the general concept of sexuality, and to develop a mature and moral personality, the Minister of Education and Science has approved, by Order No ISAK-179 of 7 February 2007 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 19-740, 2007), a Programme of Family and Sexual Education. The Minister of Education and Science has also approved, by Order No ISAK-261 of 14 February 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 23-766, 2006), methodological recommendations for the development of family education programmes for children and youth, which define the principles of preparation and implementation of such programmes, requirements for the contents, etc. A methodological teaching aid ‘Development of Family Education Programmes for Children and Youth’ has been prepared. At present, there is a working group within the Ministry of Education and Science, charged with the task of developing an action plan for the dissemination of the above-mentioned methodological recommendations for the development of family education programmes for children and youth. The Pedagogues Professional Development Centre regularly organises training courses and seminars for teachers on these issues.
 
Article 11
 
Paragraph 1
 
a)
 
128.                                               In 2006, a Law on Support for Employment was passed. The purpose of the Law is to achieve full employment, reduce social exclusion and strengthen social cohesion. The Law lays down the tasks of the employment support system: to balance labour supply and demand with a view to ensuring an overall balance in the labour market and to enhance employability of working-age jobseekers. The Law also sets the following employment support measures: general employment support services; active labour market policy measures; employment support programmes. Article 3(4) of the Law provides that the tasks of the employment support system shall be fulfilled and the employment support measures shall be implemented by respecting the principle of equal opportunities for men and women and the principle of non-discrimination.
129.                                               Pursuant to the above-mentioned Law, the following groups of persons are eligible for additional support in the labour market: pregnant women; at the choice of a family, a mother (adoptive mother) or a father (adoptive father); a guardian or a custodian who actually raises a child under 8 years of age or a disabled child under 18 years of age, who has been official recognised as an invalid before 1 July 2005; victims of trafficking in human beings, who have completed psycho-social and/or vocational rehabilitation programmes.
130.                                               In 2004, a Law on Social Enterprises was passed. The Law sets the rights and duties of legal persons which have been granted the status of a social enterprise as relating to this status, and the basis and the procedure for acquiring and losing this status; defines target groups that may be employed in social enterprises; specifies peculiarities of employment relations in social enterprises and regulates state aid granted to these enterprises. Article 4(1)(4) of the Law provides that employment in social enterprises shall be supported for a mother/father who alone takes care of and raises a child under 8 years of age, where the mother/father has been unemployed for more than six months since her/his registration with a local labour exchange office.
 
b)
 
131.                                               One of the main directions of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in employment. This part of the Programme aims at changing the stereotypical roles of men and women in the economic activity of the country; creating conditions for women and men to reconcile their work, including professional military service, and family duties; improving employability of women who want to restart career after a longer absence from the labour market and of older female jobseekers; improving opportunities for women to start and develop a business and promoting more active economic participation of women; stimulating employers to set equal pay for equal work to men and women; promoting social partnerships and developing social dialogue by ensuring gender equality in the labour market.
132.                                               The task of promoting entrepreneurship among women as pursued by the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is in line with the United Nations priorities in the field of poverty reduction and employment, i.e. to ensure equal participation of women and men in business. Moreover, this task is also included in the Small and Medium-sized Business Development Strategic Goals until 2015 laid down in the National Long-Term Economic Development Strategy for the Period until 2015 approved by the Government’s Resolution No 853 of 12 June 2002 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 60-2424, 2002) and in the measures of the National Lisbon Strategy Implementation Programme aimed at promoting rapid economic growth, competitiveness, employment and investments in the human capital.
133.                                               Employability of women, particularly in rural areas, is improving, as well as the conditions to start and develop a business. Women are actively taking the opportunities to find a job or start a private business. By the data of the National Labour Exchange under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, 10.4 thou (54%) women were directed to vocational training in 2006, including 1.8 thou women registered with the labour exchange after being absent from the labour market for more than 3 years, and 1.2 thou women older than 50 years. To enhance employability and to refresh skills, 3 thou (73%) women were directed to training courses designed for the long-term unemployed to refresh professional knowledge and practical skills, including 1.2 thou women registered with the labour exchange after being absent from the labour market for more than 3 years, and 1.4 thou women older than 50 years. In 2006, basic business courses organised by local labour exchange offices were completed by 4.4 thou jobseekers, including 2.53 thou women.
134.                                               Increasingly more women start and develop their own business. Since 2005, the Internet portal www.svv.lt has a section ‘Women in Business’ which gives women’s business success stories, latest updates on the topics discussed in the portal, also information about the European Commission’s and the EU Member States’ initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among women. Women entrepreneurs whose projects are published in this section share information with the others on how they started their businesses, what problems they faced in starting and developing the business, how these were solved, also give their opinion about what main features a woman must have to be an entrepreneur, etc. In all, 70 success stories have already been posted there. In addition, 50 success stories were published in a publication ‘Women in Business’. In this publication, women entrepreneurs analyse the reasons behind their determination to start a business, give their opinion about the factors crucial to the successful operation of the business, and provide other relevant information.
135.                                               To support women business, business information centres organise information campaigns for women entrepreneurs in all counties. Invitees to the campaign events are women entrepreneurs and women who want to start a business, also women selected and awarded as best entrepreneurs of the year; during the campaign, publications of most successful women business stories are produced and disseminated free of charge.
136.                                               Every year, women entrepreneurs are provided with information, counselling and training about the opportunities to use financial assistance for the development of a business. Business information centres and business incubators provide existing and potential women entrepreneurs with business information and counselling services and organise business information dissemination events and training courses about how to start and organise a business. The Lithuanian Development Agency for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises has interviewed 48 business information centres; the survey has revealed that women accounted for 59.89% (12,810) of the total number of customers of these centres in 2006 (cf. 59.75% or 10,817 in 2005). Customer statistics show that women were much more active users of services of business training institutions than men, both in 2005 and 2006.
137.                                               Lithuanian women entrepreneurs regularly share experience with their foreign counterparts. They take part in the activities of the European Network to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship (WES), disseminate information on the situation in the field of women business in Lithuania and on the initiatives taken in the country to promote women business; they also implement joint projects with women entrepreneurs of other countries.
138.                                               A number of projects supported from the EU Structural Funds and co-financed from the state budget are implemented to promote women employment and entrepreneurship. One of them is ‘EQUAL HIGHWAY: Development Partnership Klaipėda-Vilnius’ supported under the European Communities EQUAL initiative and having been implemented since 2006; the project aims at helping women who have lost the link with the labour market to reintegrate into active life. The coordinator of the project is Klaipėda Labour Market Training and Counselling Office. The tasks of the project are to improve measures aimed at combating social exclusion of target groups; to improve vocational guidance, socialization and capacities to use advanced information technologies and telecommunication tools; to enhance women employability in labour market under the developed training programmes. One of such training programmes, ‘Individual Profiling and Professional Career Planning’, is designed for women and long-term unemployed. Project participants are women of the pre-retirement age, ethnic minorities, long-term unemployed and other women.
139.                                               In 2006-2008, the Social Innovations Fund is implementing a project ‘Equal Opportunities of Women and Men in Employment: Measures, Practices, Developments’ supported from the EU Structural Funds. The overall objective of the project is to seek to ensure equal opportunities in employment and their effective implementation on the regional level and to ensure monitoring of changes in this field. The Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman is one of the participants in this project. The target groups of the project are: 10 municipalities (one in each county), responsible persons who are members of public commissions of equal opportunities of women and men set up in municipalities for participating in the implementation of the project, municipal NGOs and trade unions, employers and representatives of employers’ organisations in municipalities. The main implementer of the project is the Coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations for the Protection of Women’s Human Rights; since 2000, activities of the Coalition have been coordinated by the Social Innovations Fund.
140.                                               The WIIC implements a project ‘Let’s Do Business!’ (promotion of women entrepreneurship in Vilnius, Klaipėda and Utena counties to ensure gender-balanced participation in business and labour market), which is supported from the EU Structural Funds. The overall objective of the project is to enable Lithuanian women to hold equal positions in the labour market, by giving them the required knowledge and fostering their willingness to start or develop their own business. The project promotes women’s economic independence, entrepreneurship and ambitions to hold higher managing positions in business, to actively participate in non-traditional sectors, to choose non-traditional professions. The project contributes to the reduction of horizontal segregation in the labour market.
141.                                               Kaunas Labour Market Training and Counselling Office coordinates the implementation of the project ‘Promotion of Women Entrepreneurship in the Context of Information Society Development’. The project promotes employment among women who want to restart career after a longer absence from the labour market and older women who face difficulty in reintegrating into the labour market. As part of this project, a distance-learning programme is being implemented; the programme aims at enhancing women’s job-search skills in the field of employment, developing basic computer literacy, strengthening their motivation and active position in the face of the need to adapt to changes in the labour market. Other measures under this project include the organisation of labour fairs for target groups and employers, and workshops for discussing and addressing employment-related problems that women face on the regional level.
 
c)
 
142.                                               On 5 July 2005, Article 5 of the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men was supplemented by the provision that the employer is obliged not only to ensure equal conditions in the workplace but also to ensure the same opportunities to upgrade qualifications, to be retrained and to acquire practical working experience.
143.                                               As part of measures under the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009, trainings are organised for women who return to the labour market after a longer absence and for older women, aimed at enhancing their employability and refreshing their practical skills and capacities. Local labour market training and counselling offices of the Lithuanian Labour Market Training Authority under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (hereinafter referred to as the LLMTA) provided counselling services to 53 thou adults, including 34.4 thou women, in 2005, and 46.2 thou and 29.8 thou, respectively, in 2006. The LLMTA has developed and applies over 30 group-counselling programmes. The programmes are adapted for individual target groups (especially, socially vulnerable persons) depending on their needs.
144.                                               With the adoption of amendments to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Vocational Education and Training on 3 April 2007, the principle of equal opportunities has been enforced in the vocational training system: the vocational training system is socially fair, it ensures equality of all persons irrespective of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social position, religion, beliefs or views; it assures the opportunity for everybody to acquire the first vocation and creates conditions to upgrade the existing vocation or to acquire a new one.
 
d)
 
145.                                               On 5 July 2005, Article 6 of the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men was amended to establish that such actions when the employer sets, on the ground of sex, less/more favourable remuneration for not only equal work but also for work of equal value shall be deemed a violation of the equality of rights between women and men. This provision facilitates the reduction of gaps in wages and economic position between women and men.
146.                                               As part of implementation of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009, employers are urged to set equal pay for equal work or for work of equal value to men and women. In 2005, the Tripartite Council of the Republic of Lithuania together with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Institute of Labour and Social Research developed a Methodology for the Assessment of Jobs and Job Positions which aims at enhancing the transparency of remuneration, facilitating a more objective assessment of the complexity of jobs (job positions) and their levels in enterprises and organisations, and at helping to set basic wage tariffs both in individual economic entities and throughout the sector without differentiation on the grounds of sex. Every year, this Methodology is presented in seminars that bring together up to 25 representatives of various line trade unions, finance officers and personnel managers of private companies.
147.                                               Legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania clearly provide that women and men must receive equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. Women’s average gross monthly wages accounted for 82.4% of men’s average gross monthly wages in 2005, and 82.1% in 2006, in the overall national economy. In the private sector, women’s wages accounted for 82.2% of men’s wages in 2005, and 80.9% in 2006. In the public sector, these figures were 77.9% and 78.9% in 2005 and 2006, respectively (see Table 7 in the Annex). By the wage gap between men and women, Lithuania is at the EU average. Wage gaps remain due to vertical and horizontal segregation in the labour market. Women often hold lower positions than men and work in lower-paying economic sectors.
148.                                               The wage gap has slightly narrowed compared to that in 2004, when women’s average gross monthly wages accounted for 81.4% of that of men. Statistical data show that wages in female-dominated sectors of the economy are lower than in male-dominated sectors. Lowest salaries are paid in health-care and social services, education, hotels and restaurants, i.e. economic sectors where women dominate. Highest salaries are paid in public administration and defence, warehousing and communications, electricity, gas and water supply, i.e. economic sectors where men dominate (see Table 8 in the Annex).
149.                                               Analysis of complaints lodged with the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman shows that violations of the principle of gender equality in employment account for up to 50% of all complaints about discrimination on the grounds of sex. Women more often complain about unequal pay and worse working conditions. Having investigated such complaints, the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman most often advises the employers to discontinue such discriminatory actions. Usually, such advice is followed.
 
e)
 
150.                                               On 1 January 2005, the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Unemployment Social Insurance (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 4-26, 2004) came into force. The Law establishes legal relations in the field of unemployment social insurance, the categories of persons covered by unemployment insurance, the entitlement to the unemployment social insurance benefit, the procedure for the award, calculation and payment of this benefit, and the funding, administration of and responsibility for this type of insurance. Pursuant to this Law, unemployment insurance benefits linked to the previous wages have been raised and the minimum required record of employment which entitles to the unemployment benefit has been lowered.
151.                                               Pensions are being regularly raised. This plays a particularly important role in reducing social exclusion of older women, the more so as the number of women pensioners is much higher than that of men. By the data of the Department of Statistics, women account for 58.3% of the total number of persons aged 60-64 years. This difference is progressively higher, reaching 70.1% in the 95-and-above age group.
152.                                               The Government’s Resolution No 584 of 25 May 2005 ‘On the Raise of the State Social Insurance Basic Pension and the Approval of New Values of the Insured Income of the Current Year of 2005’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 67-2411, 2005) should be mentioned here. With effect from 1 July 2005, the state social insurance basic pension (hereinafter referred to as the basic pension) has been raised by 28 litas (from LTL 172 to LTL 200), and the insured income of the current year of 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the insured income) by 94 litas (from LTL 990 to LTL 1084). The growth of the basic pension and the insured income benefited all recipients of state social insurance pensions (881 thou persons). From 1 July 2005, old-age pensions for pension recipients with the minimum required record of employment grew by 50 litas on average. The growth of the basic pension entailed a growth of state social assistance benefits (about 80 thou benefits). The rates of these benefits payable to disabled children, also the disabled who have been recognised as invalids before they were 24 years, including invalids since childhood, also persons who nurse them and mothers with many children, are also linked to the basic pension. Social assistance benefits grew by 28 litas on average, and nursing allowances payable to persons with full disability (about 12 thou recipients) grew by 42 litas. Moreover, there was also a growth of state pensions payable to officers and military staff who became disabled during military service at the Lithuanian Army or during military exercises.
153.                                               There is also the Government’s Resolution No 512 of 31 May 2006 ‘On the Raise of the State Social Insurance Basic Pension and the Approval of New Values of the Insured Income of the Current Year of 2006’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 62-2281, 2006). With effect from 1 July 2006, the basic pension has been raised by 30 litas (from LTL 200 to LTL 230), and the insured income of the current year of 2006 by 128 litas (from LTL 1084 to LTL 1212). The growth of these indicators benefited all recipients of state social insurance pensions (875 thou persons, including 589 thou recipients of old-age pensions and 8.1 thou recipients of pre-old-age pensions, 210 thou disabled persons, 41.9 thou orphans, 15.3 thou recipients of loss of breadwinner’s pensions, 1.1 thou recipients of retirement pensions and 9 thou recipients of compensations for extraordinary working conditions). The average old-age pension payable to persons with the minimum required record of employment has grown from LTL 446 in December 2005 to LTL 517 in December 2006, i.e. by 71 litas (nearly 16%). The growth of the basic pension has entailed a growth of social assistance by 30 litas on average. Moreover, there was also a growth of state pensions payable to officers and military staff who became disabled during military service at the Lithuanian Army or during military exercises.
154.                                               Pursuant to the Government’s Resolution No 1031 of 19 October 2006 amending Government’s Resolution No 1156 of 18 November 1994 ‘On the Approval of the Procedure for the Award and Payment of State Social Insurance Pensions’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 113-4304, 2006), all social insurance pensions, with the exception of pre-old-age pensions, are payable, from 2006 on, for the current month. Compensations for extraordinary working conditions are now also payable for the current month. Thus, the procedure for paying social insurance pensions has been made uniform. Once pensions have become payable for the current month, those pension recipients who used to receive pensions for the previous month received a double payment one month. Only pre-old-age pensions remain payable for the previous month, as they are linked to the actual receipt of insured income.
155.                                               The conditions and the procedure for organising the accumulation of occupational pensions are regulated by the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Accumulation of Occupational Pensions, which was passed in 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 82-3248, 2006). The Law aims at harmonising legislation governing the accumulation of occupational pensions with the relevant EU legislation. Article 23(1) of the Law prohibits the setting, in the Articles of Association of a pension association and in the rules of a pension fund, the terms and conditions for participation that are in conflict to the principle of equality between women and men.
156.                                               On 19 May 2005, a new version of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on State Social Assistance Benefits was passed, with effect from 1 July 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 96-1873, 1994; No 71-2556, 2005). The objective of the Law is to insure payment of working incapacity pensions to persons eligible to state social assistance benefit by virtue of disability, age or other reasons laid down in this Law. The Law defines the types of state social assistance benefits, financing sources, eligible persons, and the conditions and procedure for the award and payment of these benefits. From 1 July 2005, social assistance benefits are awarded and payable to persons with full or partial working incapacity who have lost 60% or more of the working capacity (before 1 July 2005, recognised as invalids of Group I or II). From 1 January 2006, social assistance benefits are also payable to persons of the pensionable age. Persons who have lost 75-100% of the working capacity (before 1 July 2005, recognised as invalids of Group I) are eligible to the social assistance benefit equal to the basic pension and persons who have lost 60-70% of the working capacity (before 1 July 2005, recognised as invalids of Group II) and who have reached the pensionable age are eligible to the social assistance benefit equal to 0.9 of the basic pension. Persons whose pension (state social insurance pension, state pension, foreign state pension, or another pension-type benefit) is lower than the social assistance benefit are compensated for the difference between the social assistance benefit and the actual pension and/or the aggregate of the pensions received.
157.                                               On 11 May 2004, the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Social Integration of Invalids (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 36-969, 1991; No 83-2983, 2004) was amended and renamed into the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Social Integration of the Disabled. The main purpose of this amended Law, which came into force on 1 July 2005, is to guarantee equal rights and opportunities for the disabled in the society, to lay down the principles of social integration of the disabled, to define the social integration system and its preconditions and conditions, to designate institutions to be responsible in the field of social integration of the disabled, to regulate the assessment of disability and working capacity, to govern the provision of occupational rehabilitation services, and to lay down the principles of identifying and satisfying special needs.
158.                                               The Law has introduced new concepts and terms: the former concepts of ‘invalid’ and ‘invalidity’ have been replaced with the concepts of ‘disabled’ and ‘disability’. This eliminates the discriminatory provisions that used to emphasize the particularity of a disabled person, and de jure enforces equal rights and opportunities of the disabled in the society.
159.                                               The Law has introduced a new system of assessing disability and working capacity: the level of working capacity has replaced the invalidity group. The task of assessing disability and working capacity has been delegated to a single institution, the Disability and Working Capacity Assessment Office under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour.
160.                                               On 19 May 2005, a new version of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on State Social Insurance Pensions was passed, with effect from 1 July 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 71-2555, 2005). Pursuant to this Law, the level of working capacity instead of the invalidity group is assigned for the disabled persons of the working age; accordingly, working incapacity pensions are awarded and payable to these persons.
161.                                               When a person, irrespective of sex, may not work for certain reasons and is thus not covered by state social insurance, certain guarantees are ensured to him/her by the state. If a person takes care of a disabled person at home, that person is insured for the basic part of the state social insurance pension, with the state budget funds. It has been proposed that such persons should be insured for the whole state social insurance pension and covered by the unemployment social insurance from 1 January 2008. A mother/father or a guardian who has taken a parental leave until the child is three years old is also insured for the basic part of the state social insurance pension with the state budget funds. Starting from 1 January 2008, these persons will be insured for the whole state social insurance pension and covered by the unemployment social insurance.
162.                                               Seeking to more effectively and efficiently meet the need to supply the disabled with technical aids, the Ministry of Social Security and Labour has developed a Strategy for Supplying the Disabled with Technical Aids for 2004-2010 which was approved by Order No A1-114 of 30 April 2004 of the Minister of Social Security and Labour (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 78-2725, 2004). The overall objective of the Strategy is to set up a common legal, economic and organisational system which would improve, through a more efficient use of state budget recourses, the supply of technical aids to persons with mobility, visual and hearing impairments and facilitate their medical, social and occupational rehabilitation. The main directions of implementation of the Strategy are to improve the legal system and seek to satisfy, as effectively as possible, the special needs of the disabled by supplying them with technical aids; to asses and improve the quality of the currently available services by setting up local offices in individual counties; to ensure a more efficient use of state budget recourses. As part of implementation of the Strategy, two regional offices of the Centre of Technical Aid for Disabled People under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour (hereinafter referred to as the CTADP) were opened in 2005. In total, 4 regional offices of the CTADP operated in 2005 and 6 offices in 2006.
163.                                               In 2005, further effort was made to supply technical aids to the disabled as part of the Strategy for Supplying the Disabled with Technical Aids for 2004-2010. Public procurement procedures were launched in 2005 for the procurement of technical aids. LTL 6,200 thou were allocated in the state budget for this purpose. In 2005, 4,052 technical aids were procured, including 3,354 technical aids for adults, 27 electric wheelchairs, and 698 technical aids for children. Under the awarded repair and customisation contracts, LTL 283,840 worth of repair services were provided, with 2,341 technical aids repaired and customised. In 2005, over 22 thou people were supplied with technical aids. Approximately 90% of the requirement for compensatory technical aids was met.
164.                                               In 2006, the state budget allocation for technical aids amounted to LTL 6,500 thou. With this money, 21,733 technical aids were procured, compensations were paid to two persons who had bought new active-type wheelchairs, 26,370 technical aids were given out, 2,549 technical aids were repaired and customised, and 44 electric wheelchairs were procured and given out. From 2006, electric wheelchairs are provided not only to adults, but also to children above 14 years of age. In 2006, technical aids were supplied to over 22 thou people. Approximately 90% of the requirement for compensatory technical aids was met.
165.                                               Acting pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Social Integration of the Disabled, the Government has approved, by Resolution No 1426 of 23 December 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 152-5603, 2005), the Regulations of the Council for the Disabled under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour. Pursuant to the Government’s Resolution No 1423 of 23 December 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 152-5600, 2005), the Lithuanian Council for the Invalids’ Affairs under the Government of the Republic of Lithuania was renamed into the Department for the Disabled under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour was charged with the task of acting as the founder of the Department. The Council for the Disabled under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour and the Department for the Disabled under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour started operations on 1 January 2006. The two institutions deal with most important issues relevant to the disabled in the field of health-care, social protection, education and training, customisation of the environment, employment, public awareness, sport, culture and recreation.
166.                                               As of 1 January 2007, 404,125 women and 192,280 men were recipients of state social insurance old-age pensions, 44,760 women and 41,304 men were recipients of state social insurance working incapacity pensions (former (before 1 July 2005) invalidity pensions), and 72,650 women and 28,039 men were recipients of state social assistance benefits.
 
f)
 
167.                                               Information on the implementation in Lithuania of Article 11(1)(f) of the Convention was given in the Third Report. No changes were introduced in 2005-2006 in the legal acts in this field.
 
Paragraph 2
 
a)
 
168.                                               Amendments to the Law on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men adopted in 2005 (Law No X-304 of 5 July 2005) provide that if discrimination on the grounds of sex is also related to family or marital status, this shall be deemed as a particularly discriminatory act.
 
b)
 
169.                                               From 1 July 2005, social assistance orphanage pensions are awarded and payable irrespective of whether the deceased, whose (adoptive) children are eligible to this pension, was permanently residing in the Republic of Lithuania or not. Before then, social assistance orphanage pensions to children ineligible to social insurance orphanage pensions used to be awarded only if the deceased (adoptive) parent was permanently residing in the Republic of Lithuania.
170.                                               The payment of child benefits under the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Benefits to Children (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 89-1706, 1994; No 88-3208, 2004) was continued in 2007. From 1 July 2004, this benefit was payable to families with one or two children until the children are 7 years of age, and to families with three and more children until the children are 18 years of age and until they finish studies, but not after they reach the age of 24 years. From 1 September 2006, child benefits for children between 7 and 9 years of age were equal to 0.4 of the minimum subsistence level (hereinafter referred to as the MSL). At present, pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Benefits to Children, a monthly child benefit of 0.75 MSL (97.5 litas) is payable from the birth of the child until the chills is 3 years old, and a monthly child benefit of 0.4 MSL (52 litas) for children between 3 and 9 years of age. Families with three or more children are eligible to child benefits of 1.1 MSL (143 litas) a month for every child under 3 years of age and a benefit of 0.4 MSL (52 litas) a month for children between 3 and 18 years of age and older if they are full-time students, but not after they reach the age of 24 years.
171.                                               One of the measures under ‘The Measures for the Implementation of the Programme of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania for 2006-2008’ approved by the Government’s Resolution No 1020 of 17 October 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 112-4273, 2006) is a gradual transition to the payment of child benefits for every child until the child is 18 years of age or until the child finishes general education day-school (Measure 59, Table 2). To implement the commitments undertaken, the payment of child benefits was extended to cover children under 12 years of age; these benefits are payable for the period between 1 September 2007 and 31 December 2007, bearing in mind that pursuant to the amendments to Article 22 of the Law on Benefits to Children passed by the Seimas on 5 June 2007, child benefits will be payable, starting from 1 January 2008, for every child under 18 years of age or until the child finishes general education day-school.
172.                                               LTL 23.2 million were allocated in the state budget of 2007 for child benefits payable, from 1 September 2007, for children between 9 and 12 years of age and for the related administrative costs. Today, monthly child benefits are paid for about 350 thou Lithuanian children under 9 years, on average. From 1 September 2007, additional 105 thou children receive a child benefit. The child benefit is awarded and payable as from the date on which a person becomes entitled to the benefit but for no more than 12 months proceeding the date of delivery of the required documents. Application for this benefit has to be filed with the social assistance office of the municipal administration of the person’s declared place of residence.
 
c)
 
173.                                               In 2006, the Seimas passed a Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Social Services (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 17-589, 2006). Pursuant to this Law, elderly or disabled persons living with their children are eligible to state aid on equal terms with those who live alone. The Law aims at promoting the diversity of social services, enhancing their accessibility to everybody and ensuring their quality.
174.                                               In 2006, social services at in-patient institutions, day-centres, crises centres and lodging-houses for the homeless were provided to 114 thou persons. About 8 thou disabled and elderly persons were given services at their homes (40% of them were rural people). Another 100 thou people were given free catering and supplied with basic necessities and transport services. 40% of the recipients of these services were rural people. The number of the recipients of social services has almost doubled over the past 3 years. In this field, the development of out-patient services providing people with the possibility to receive the required social assistance in the community without having to stay at social care institutions but staying at home is of utmost importance. The number of people who receive social services at day-centres has increased significantly. In 2003, day-centres were attended by about 34 thou disabled persons, children and elderly people, whereas in 2006 this number grew to over 90 thou. The number of day-centres for the disabled has also grown over this period, from 59 day-centres in 2003 to 92 day-centres in 2005. 17.5 thou adults and 0.9 thou children used their services in 2003, and 49.3 thou adults and 5.8 thou children in 2006. There was also a rapid growth in the number of day-centres for children, from 17 in 2001 to over 120 at present. The development of out-patient social services (social care day-centres, residential homes for the elderly and the disabled, family support and crises centres) is partially financed from the EU Structural Funds. For the period of 2004-2006, LTL 53.7 million were allocated from the European Regional Development Fund for social services projects. For the period of 2007-2013, the planned ERDF allocation for the development of social services is about LTL 152 million.
175.                                               By the Government’s Resolution No 854 of 8 August 2007 amending the Government’s Resolution No 1270 of 22 November 2005 ‘On the National Lisbon Strategy Implementation Programme’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 92-3699, 2007), the measures of the National Lisbon Strategy Implementation Programme were supplemented by Measure 8.7, which aims to gender-mainstream, in 2007, corporate social responsibility, thus creating the conditions for the development of a family-friendly workplace. A model of a family-friendly workplace should provide for the possibility to receive good quality and easily accessible services of care for children and other dependants, the development of flexible working arrangements, and the awareness-raising on gender equality among employers and trade unions or other representatives of employees. The development of family-friendly workplaces will be supported not only from the state budget, but also from the European Social Fund.
 
Article 12
 
Paragraph 1
 
176.                                               Laws regulating health care do not contain any discriminatory provisions. In Lithuania, every person, irrespective of sex, is entitled to the same health protection, including, but not limited to, services offered in private family-planning centres and state health care institutions.
177.                                               One of the directions of the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 is to ensure equal opportunities for women and men in the field of health care. The tasks in this field are: to address specific women’s and men’s health issues; to seek a longer life expectancy of men, i.e. to reduce the gap between men's and women's average life expectancy; to raise awareness and educate on family planning and reproductive health matters, especially in rural areas.
178.                                               Specific measures are implemented in pursuance of these tasks. To invite women to care for their health, especially to take cancer preventive measures, a leaflet ‘For Women to Feel Safe’ was published and distributed at health-care institutions Women were urged, in a moving caption line broadcasted on one of the TV channels, to test for cancer. Informational and advisory articles are regularly published in major national daily newspapers and regional press; preventive programmes are advertised and promoted on the National Radio Station. In 2006, leaflets ‘About Family Planning for Families’ and ‘About Family Planning and Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ were published and disseminated.
179.                                               Since July 2004, a Cervical Cancer Screening Programme has been implemented in Lithuania, pursuant to Order No V-482 of 30 June 2004 of the Minister of Health ‘On the Approval of Financing for Malignant Cervical Tumour Preventive Measures from the Budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 104-3856, 2004). This is a state-supported programme targeted at all women aged 30-60 in Lithuania. The Programme is a reflection of the long-term concern of the government about women’s health: the screening must be repeated every three years. The Programme is financed from the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. For this purpose, LTL 4 million were allocated in 2004, LTL 4 million in 2005, and LTL 3.8 million in 2006. Over two and a half years, 294 thou women, or 39% of all women aged 30-60, were tested in all. The ratio of cervical cancer in situ compared to invasive cancer diagnosed for women of this age was over 50%. This proves the effectiveness of prevention and raises hopes that morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer will be reduced.
180.                                               On October 2005, a Breast Cancer Screening Programme was launched, pursuant to Order No V-729 of 23 September 2005 of the Minister of Health ‘On the Approval of Financing for the Breast Cancer Screening Programme’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 117-4249, 2005). It has been estimated that at least 60% of all women aged 50-69 will participate in the Programme. The services under the Programme are financed from the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. It has been estimated that, given the available technical capacities and human resources, the above-mentioned 60% of women will be examined in 5 years from the beginning of the Programme . There are 418 thou women aged 50-69 in Lithuania; thus, based on the above estimations, 50 thou women were to be examined in the first year of implementation of the Programme. Allocations in the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund for this Programme amounted to LTL 1.5 million in 2005, LTL 2.5 million in 2006, and LTL 3 million in 2007. From the start of the Programme, 5 thou women were tested in October-December 2005, and over 48 thou women in 2006. Over the 14 months (January 2006 – February 2007) of implementation of the Programme, over 58 thou women of that age were tested in total.
181.                                               After the Compulsory Health Insurance Board has agreed and the Minister of Health has approved, by Order No V-973 of 14 December 2005 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 152-5617, 2005), financing for the Programme of Early Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, all men aged 50-75 and men above 45 years of age whose father or brother has a prostate cancer are eligible for free-of-charge testing. The purpose of the Programme of Early Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer is to diagnose prostate cancer as early as possible. In 2006, LTL 47.7 million were allocated in the budget of the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund for the implementation of this Programme.
182.                                               The attitude towards contraceptive methods is very varied in Lithuania. According to the results of surveys conducted by the private limited company ‘Baltijos tyrimai’ in 2003, more than half (51 percent) of women aged 15-25 did not use any contraception at all. This percentage was lower in other age groups: 19% of women aged 26-35, and 32% of women aged 35-45 did not take any precautions against pregnancy. As many as 33% of the respondents who did not use any contraception could not give any clear reason for not taking precautions against pregnancy. According to the results of the survey, only 1% of Lithuanian women who are sexually active but do not use any contraception would not have an abortion; all of them were women aged 26-35.
183.                                               In Lithuania, the abortion procedure is governed by Order No 50 of 28 January 1994 of the Ministry of Health “On the Procedure of Abortion Surgery’ (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 18-299, 1994). At the woman’s request, pregnancy may be aborted before the 12th gestational week, or before the 22nd gestational week when there are certain medical indications. Lithuania has all facilities for safe abortion; therefore, no cases of death caused by abortion were recorded. Statistical data on the dynamics of therapeutic abortions is given in Table 13 in the Annex hereto.
 
Paragraph 2
 
184.                                               The Recommended Daily Allowances of Nutritional and Energy Intake for Pregnant and Lactating Women approved by Order No 510 of 25 November 1999 of the Minister of Health (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 102-2936, 1999) prescribe the nutritional and energy intake allowances ensuring physiological needs of pregnant and lactating women. In 2005, the National Nutrition Centre has published methodological instructions ‘Breastfeeding Newborns and Infants’ (Vilnius, 2005), which were recommended for health-care specialists by the Ministry of Health, and which gave, in Chapter ‘Lactating Women’s Nutrition’, nutrition recommendations for lactating women. These instructions serve as the basis of guidance given by health-care specialists to women.
 
Article 13
 
a)
 
185.                                               On 1 December 2006, amendments to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Social Assistance in Cash for Low-Income Families (Persons Living Alone) (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 130-4889, 2006) came into force. The amended Law has expanded the range of poor people eligible to social assistance in cash. To ensure social assistance in cash to poor families living in rural areas, the Law was also supplemented with the provision that assistance in cash shall be given to a single parent or to a parent, when the other parent may not take care of the child/children due to sickness, disability, imprisonment or other sound reason, raising a child (children) under 14 years and cultivating at least 2 hectares of agricultural land owned or rented by the family. Pursuant to Article 3 of this Law, assistance in cash to poor families or single persons is comprised of the social benefit and the compensation for heating and cold and hot water supply costs.
186.                                               In 2006, social benefits were paid to 37.8 thou people a month on average (1.1% of permanent residents of Lithuania). Compared to 2005, the number of persons eligible to the social benefit has decreased by 30%. This reduction is explained by a notable growth of income (higher minimum monthly salary, average old-age pension, average monthly wage), declining unemployment, and migration. Social benefit amounted to 96 litas per family member on average (cf. 81 litas in 2005). In 2006, compensations for heating and water supply were paid to 96.1 thou people a month on average (2.8% of permanent residents of Lithuania).
 
b)
 
187.                                               Current legislation of the Republic of Lithuania governing the activities of banks and other financial institutions does not provide for any lending restrictions on the grounds of sex.
 
c)
 
188.                                               Lithuanian legislation does not restrict women from participating in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life. In 2004-2006, the Equal Opportunities Development Centre participated, as a partner, in the international project ‘Women and Men in Sports and Media’ supported from the EU funds. The coordinator of the project was the Centre for Gender Equality, Iceland. The project pursued the following goals: to explore similarities and variations in representation of women and men in sports; to promote change in the gendered stereotypes in sports; to educate persons influential in the field of forming women’s and men’s image in sports; to develop training material for sport reporters, trainers and coaches on the representation of women and men in sports, for the use in their daily work; to stimulate a discussion on gender stereotypes in sports on the European level.
 
Article 14
 
Paragraph 1
 
189.                                               As part of implementation of measures under the National Programme for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2005-2009 aimed at promoting employment of rural women, counselling is being provided and conferences and other events organised annually to rural women starting up or engaged in agricultural or alternative business. In 2005-2006, the Chamber of Agriculture of the Republic of Lithuania organised a conference ‘Rural Women’s Business and Prospects’; women delegated by the Lithuanian Women Farmers’ Association participated in the international Fourth Baltic Rural Women’s Conference in Latvia. 35 most active rural women entrepreneurs have participated in the European small towns’ and villages’ festival in Italy. In the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Lithuanian Women Farmers’ Association has organised an exhibition-fair of hand-made Christmas items. The Association has also organised a series of seminars ‘Alternative Crafts in the Lithuanian Village’ and ‘Improvement of the Quality of Life in the Village’. About 800 women from different counties of the country took part in these seminars. In the seminars, the participants were given information about the opportunities to start up their own business by developing unconventional crafts and to receive funding from the EU Structural Funds for the development of such business, and presentations on rural infrastructure development measures.
190.                                               In 2006, the Lithuanian Women Farmers’ Association organised a number of educational and informational events aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among rural women, discussing the issue of reduction of social exclusion, promoting rural women’s entrepreneurship prospects and alternative crafts, improving social partnership and the quality of life in the village, and participating in international projects targeted at rural women. In 2006, LTL 74 thou were allocated in the state budget for this purpose; with this money, 30 events were organised.
191.                                               In 2006, the Lithuanian University of Agriculture conducted a study ‘Development of Measures to Promote Employment and Entrepreneurship of Rural Women’. The study consisted of the analysis, based on the experience of the EU Member States, of legal acts governing small and medium-sized business and of national and municipal strategic development documents oriented towards the promotion of employment and entrepreneurship of rural people (women), and the preparation of measures aimed at promoting employment and entrepreneurship of rural women.
 
Paragraph 2
 
a)
 
192.                                               Sustainable rural economic and social development, information and knowledge society, promotion of public awareness on legal issues are among the long-term goals set in the Agricultural and Rural Development Strategy approved by the Seimas Resolution No VIII-1728 of 13 June 2000 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 50-1435, 2000). To achieve these long-term goals, relevant programmes and measures are being elaborated and implemented.
193.                                               As part of implementation of the National Rural Development Programme for 2006-2008 approved by the Government’s Resolution No 590 of 19 June 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 70-2564, 2006), conferences, seminars and other educational events aimed at addressing social problems encountered by rural people are organised. The Lithuanian Women Farmers’ Association regularly organises educational and informational events for rural women. In 2005, the Association organised a series of seminars ‘Promotion of Entrepreneurship of Rural Women’ in different regions of the country, a conference ‘Reduction of Social Exclusion of Rural Women’, a series of educational seminars ‘Changes in Values in the Modern Rural Family’ in 24 districts of the country. In 2005, a conference was organised to discuss the problem of social exclusion of rural women; women farmers delegated by the Lithuanian Women Farmers’ Association represented Lithuania in the rural crafts and handicrafts exhibition in Estonia. Commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Lithuanian Institute of Agrarian Economics has conducted a study on measures to promote rural women’s participation in rural development processes.
 
c)
 
194.                                               Legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania prescribe that social guarantees shall be ensured irrespective of sex. If a resident of the Republic of Lithuania works under an employment agreement or is engaged in other activity provided for in legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, receives income and is covered by relevant types of insurance, he/she is entitled to the relevant social guarantees (pension, sickness, maternity, paternity and other benefits). Article 4 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on State Social Insurance (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 17-447, 1991; No 171-6295, 2004) specifies the groups of persons insured and the types of insurance.
195.                                               Persons who are outside the list of persons automatically covered by social insurance have the right to take state pension insurance and state social insurance for sickness and maternity allowance on a voluntary basis. The procedure and conditions of these voluntary types of insurance are governed by the Rules of Voluntary State Social Pension Insurance approved by the Government’s Resolution No 339 of 23 March 2000 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 26-696, 2000) and the Rules of Voluntary State Social Insurance for Sickness and Maternity Allowances approved by the Government’s Resolution No 1191 of 28 October 1997 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 98-2497, 1997, No 99-2862, 1999).
196.                                               Self-employed persons, except those who are engaged in the economic activity as sole proprietors and hold a business certificate, are automatically covered only by the pension social insurance for the basic and the supplementary parts of pension. Insurance coverage for the supplementary part of pension is conditional on the actual income of the person concerned. Persons who are engaged in the economic activity as sole proprietors and hold a business certificate are automatically covered by the pension social insurance only for the basic part of pension.
 
d)
 
197.                                               To promote employment, vocational schools located in rural areas co-operate with the local community, offer non-formal education programmes, implement labour market programmes meeting the local needs. Much focus is placed on the improvement of organisation of vocational training. Efforts in this area include the development of a common quality assurance system for the primary and continued vocational training, the improvement of the curricula, and the inclusion of entrepreneurship subjects in the curricula. To develop new vocational training and study programmes, 54 institutions have received support from the European Social Fund. The vocational training quality assessment procedure has been upgraded. To improve the match between vocational training and the needs on the labour market, vocational training standards are being developed and the demand for specialists in individual economic sectors is being investigated.
198.                                               To enhance accessibility of pre-school and pre-primary education with a priority for rural areas, 86 pre-school and pre-primary education groups were established, with 46 of them in rural areas; and 85 positions of pre-school and pre-primary pedagogues were supported financially, with 37 of them in rural areas.
199.                                               Efforts in this field include the promotion of non-formal education of rural women on gender equality issues, the provision of information on how to start a private business, the awareness-raising among rural people on equal opportunities of women and men, the provision of information to rural women who are starting up or developing agricultural or alternative business. With a view to promoting entrepreneurship of rural women, much focus is placed on the following actions: mentoring for rural women starting up a business, counselling, assistance in elaborating business strategies, development of women entrepreneurs’ networks, facilitating access to micro-credits for the start-up of a business, closer integration between national and local policies aimed at enhancing women entrepreneurship.
200.                                               NGOs play an important role in the field of reduction of social exclusion and promotion of entrepreneurship of rural women. Lithuanian women’s organisations based in towns involve also rural women in their activities. Some women’s organisations (e.g. Kaunas Women's Employment Information Centre) not only organise training courses, but also assist in finding a job. This is achieved by cooperating with employers, collecting information on vacancies and directing an unemployed woman with appropriate qualifications to the relevant vacancy. In the field of employment and training, women’s organisations cooperate with the media, labour exchanges, labour market and training institutions.
 
e)
 
201.                                               Effort is made to ensure equal access for women to self-employment and to strengthen their economic opportunities. Local employment initiatives have been supported since 2004. In 2006, 43 local employment initiatives were implemented in 23 municipal areas, in which the share of the unemployed in the working-age group was 1.35 times higher than overall in the country. As part of these projects, 278 new jobs were created. 44% of all projects were implemented in rural areas; they helped to create 110 new jobs for rural people. Such projects promote rural development as most of them are related to support for the development of alternative economic activities in the countryside. 47% of these new jobs were filled by women and 53% by men. To employ the unemployed who cannot easily compete on the labour market (often for reasons beyond their control), 183 new jobs out of those created by local employment initiatives were filled by the unemployed additionally supported in the labour market (66% of the total number of persons employed). Overall, the new jobs created by local employment initiatives in 2006 were filled as follows: 18% were filled by long-term unemployed, 17% by persons above the age of 50 years, 13% by persons who have been unemployed for 2 or more years before their registration with the local labour exchange, 11% by pregnant women and persons with a child under 8 years of age or with a disabled child under 18 years of age, 6% by persons who have just acquired a vocation and started their professional career, and 1% by disabled persons.
202.                                               There is an increasingly active economic participation of women and a growing number of women entrepreneurs. Women already account for as much as 30% of rural entrepreneurs; they increasingly often take the opportunity to start and develop a business and they contribute to the economic growth and the creation of new jobs.
203.                                               Despite the fact that countryside tourism is definitely a successful activity, most of rural women are engaged in traditional agriculture. In 2005, 40% of farms registered with the Register of Farmer’s Farms were owned by women. Rural women (like men) generally own small farms (smaller than 5 hectares and between 5 and 9.9 hectares) which account for 67% of all farms registered under a women’s name. Very large women-owned farms are few in Lithuania; however, there is an upward trend in this regard. Over the period between the beginning of 2000 and the end of 2005, the number of women-owned farms between 50 and 99.9 hectares has grown by 1.5 times, and those above 100 hectares, by 2.6 times.
 
g)
 
204.                                               Agriculture is supported from the EU Structural Funds, the rules of administration whereof require to ensure equal access for women and men to the EU structural support for the development of their farms. In 2005, support was granted to 12 farm development projects, half of which were proposed by women. 14% of all supported investment agricultural projects were proposed by women. Young rural women are encouraged to expand their farms. In 2005, 24% of all projects proposed by young farmers were proposed by women.
 
h)
 
205.                                               On 5 July 2005, the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on State Support for the Acquisition or Rent of a Housing and for the Renovation of Multi-Dwelling Houses (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 14-378, 1992; No 116-5188, 2002) was amended (by the Law No X-319 of 5 July 2005). The Law regulates the provision of state support to poor families or single persons for the acquisition or rent of a housing. The form of the support depends on the assets held and income received. Support for the acquisition of a housing may be granted to young families and large families (by financing 10% of the mortgage (or the balance of the mortgage)), also the disabled and orphans (by financing 20% of the mortgage (or the balance of the mortgage)).
206.                                               There are certain gaps in water supply between urban and rural areas in Lithuania: these services are less accessible in rural areas than urban. With a view to ensuring equal access for everybody to water-supply and wastewater treatment services, two laws were passed on 13 July 2006: the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Supply of Drinking Water and the Treatment of Wastewater (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 82-3260, 2006) and the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Entry into Force and Implementation of the Law on the Supply of Drinking Water and the Treatment of Wastewater (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 82-3261, 2006); the two Laws prescribe that by 31 December 2014 access to water supplied by the public water supplier and to wastewater treatment services shall be ensured for at least 95% of population in each municipality.
207.                                               Postal and courier services cover the entire territory of the country. They are provided to all residents of the country irrespective of sex or address. By the data as of 31 December 2006, 934 stationary post offices (225 in urban and 709 in rural areas) operated in Lithuania, plus 14 branches (8 in urban and 6 in rural areas), and 6 travelling post offices, i.e. 940 points of universal postal services in total. As of 31 December 2006, 77 providers of postal and courier services operated in the postal and courier services market; 11 of them held a licence to provide postal services. On 3 January 2006, the state-owned enterprise ‘Lithuanian Post’ was reorganised into a public limited company. Seeking to ensure an uninterrupted provision of universal postal services for everybody on equal terms to any destinations in the country, the company is centralising its business management system and optimising technological processes.
208.                                               Electronic communications services are also provided to everybody irrespective of sex within the territory of Lithuania. By the data of the Department of Statistics, the share of households possessing a personal computer and having Internet access has increased from 29% in the 1st Quarter of 2005 to 36.5% in the 1st Quarter of 2006. Broadband communications infrastructure is being developed to reduce the gap between the larger towns and remote areas. This is pursued by the project ‘Rural Area Information Technologies Broadband Network RAIN’ financed from the EU Structural Funds and the state budget. It is scheduled to build, by the end of 2008, broadband Internet channels connecting all local administration centres and to install Internet communication nodes there.
209.                                               With the view of promoting the use of the Internet in Lithuania, thereby improving the standard of living and enhancing the competitiveness of Lithuania in Europe and in the world, business and governmental institutions jointly implement the project ‘Window to the Future’. The main objective of the project is to accelerate Internet penetration in Lithuania and organise Internet courses for people. In 2003 alone, 20 thou Lithuanians attended Internet courses organised under the project. This high interest in these courses has prompted to prepare a project and apply for financing from the EU Structural Funds. EU support for the organisation of Internet courses was granted in 2006. In 2006-2008, basic Internet courses will be offered to 50 thou Lithuanians. To train as many rural people as possible, the coverage of this EU Structural Funds supported project will be expanded to the whole territory of Lithuania.
210.                                               Mobile telephony market is growing rapidly in Lithuania. By the data of the Department of Statistics, the number of mobile telephones per 100 population was 14.6 in 2000, 127.9 in 2005, and 139.4 in 2006. In 2006, a slight overall reduction of fixed telephony lines was recorded, as more lines were owned by the new providers of fixed telephony services. In 2005, there were 23.5 fixed telephony lines per 100 population. In 2006, this number dropped to 23.4.
211.                                               The Government has approved, by Resolution No 1492 of 25 November 2004 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 171-6336, 2004), a Model of Transition to Digital Television in Lithuania, which sets concrete actions of transition to digital terrestrial television, implementing institutions, their functions, planned measures and their implementation deadlines. As part of implementation of this Model, digital TV transmitters are planned to be installed, by the end of 2007, in 5 largest towns of Lithuania; they will broadcast up to 40 TV programmes. The gradual switchover from analogue to digital TV should start in 2012.
212.                                               To ensure that information about science and technologies is accessible to everybody (including rural people), the Government has approved, by Resolution No 335 of 5 April 2006 (Valstybės žinios (Official Gazette) No 39-1394, 2006), the Lithuanian Higher Education System Development Plan for 2006–2010, which provides for the dissemination and popularisation of information about science and studies and about technologies available in Lithuania. To improve accessibility of various databases in libraries of science and studies institutions and in regional libraries, higher appropriations are budgeted every year to finance subscription fees to multi-media databases (in 2006, LTL 1,806,000 were allocated for subscription to 20 databases).
 
Article 15
 
Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3
 
213.                                               Information on the implementation in Lithuania of Articles 15(1), 15(2) and 15(3) of the Convention was already given in the Third Report. No changes were introduced in 2005-2006 in the legal acts in this field.
 
Paragraph 4
 
214.                                               Article 32 of the Constitution guarantees the right for every citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, without differentiating between women and men, to move and choose his/her place of residence in Lithuania freely and to leave Lithuania freely. This right may not be restricted otherwise than by law and if it is necessary for the protection of national security, health of the people as well as for the administration of justice.
215.                                               Article 3(2) of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens provides that aliens in the Republic of Lithuania shall be equal before the law without distinction as to sex, race, citizenship, language, origin, social status, religion, beliefs or views. Article 24 of the Law sets that a residence permit of the Republic of Lithuania shall grant the alien (male or female) the right to reside in the Republic of Lithuania, to choose and change the place of residence in the Republic of Lithuania, and to leave and return to the Republic of Lithuania during the period of validity of the residence permit.
216.                                               The Law mentioned in paragraph 215 above guarantees the right to family reunification for all aliens, irrespective of sex, legally staying in the Republic of Lithuania. Pursuant to Article 2(27) of the Law, family reunification means the entry into and residence in the Republic of Lithuania by family members of an alien who is not a citizen of the European Union but who resides lawfully in the Republic of Lithuania, in order to preserve the family unit, whether the family relationship arose before or after the alien’s entry. Family members of the alien may be issued a temporary residence permit (Articles 40(1)(3) and 43).
 
Article 16
 
217.                                               Information on the implementation of Article 16 of the Convention was given in the Third Report. No changes were introduced in 2005-2006 in the legal acts in this field.
 
 
 
––––––––––––––––––––
Annex
to the Fourth Report on the Implementation in the Republic of Lithuania of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women
 
 
 
TABLE 1. WOMEN AS VICTIMS OF CRIMINAL ACTS
 
Women as victims of criminal acts
Victims of spouse or cohabitant
Victims of children or adopted children
2005 
2006 
2005 
2006 
In total
464
448
111
103
In rural areas
201
202
45
50
Suffered from physical violence
265
273
49
43
Suffered from sexual violence
2
1
0
0
Suffered from psychological violence
65
48
10
8
 
Data of the IT and Communications Department under the Ministry of the Interior
 
 
 
TABLE 2. WOMEN AS VICTIMS OF REGISTERED CRIMINAL ACTS
 
 
 
Articles of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania
2005 
2006 
Urban
Rural
Under 17 years
18 years and above
Urban
Rural
Under 17 years
18 years and above
Art. 129. Murder
56
49
3
102
45
31
2
74
Art. 130. Murder under extreme emotional disturbance
 
 
0
 
 
 
0
 
Art. 135. Serious health impairment
34
22
2
54
32
23
3
52
Art. 136. Serious health impairment under extreme emotional disturbance
 
 
0
 
 
 
0
 
Art. 138. Light health impairment
490
254
85
659
484
246
74
656
Art. 140. Battery or minor health impairment
280
162
204
238
240
119
139
220
Art. 149. Rape
145
120
80
185
137
114
140
111
Art. 150. Sexual abuse
112
87
67
132
67
89
97
59
Art. 151. Coercion into sexual intercourse
3
2
3
2
6
5
6
5
Art. 152. Sexual harassment
 
3
1
2
2
3
3
2
 
Data of the IT and Communications Department under the Ministry of the Interior
 
 
 
 
 
TABLE 3. DATA FOR 2005–2006 ACCORDING TO ARTICLE 147 „TRAFFICKING IN HUMAN BEINGS“ OF THE CRIMINAL CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
 
Article „Trafficking in human beings“
2005 
2006 
Total number of cases
32
26
Cases referred to court
18
21
Cases considered in court
7
7
Cases refused to consider
1
3
Dismissed cases
3
3
Offenders known to law enforcement
43
33
Suspects
21
19
Victims known to law enforcement
35
28
Victims of crimes
25
27
Convicted persons
15
10
 
Data of the Ministry of the Interior
 
 
TABLE 4. NUMBER OF CIVIL SERVANTS, EXCEPT STATUTORY CIVIL SERVANTS by job positions group and sex, 2005–2006
 
  Job positions group
2005 
2006 
number
%
number
%
Civil servants of political (personal) confidence
481
100
769
100
Women
254
53
460
60
Men
227
47
309
40
Career civil servants
20,878
100
23,555
100
Women
14,667
70
17,056
72
Men
6,211
30
6,499
28
Managers of institutions
458
100
466
100
Women
144
31
147
31
Men
314
69
319
69
Total
21,817
100
24,790
100
Women
15,065
69
17,663
71
Men
6,752
31
7127
29
 
Data from the Register of Civil Servants
 
 
 
TABLE 5. WOMEN IN DIPLOMATIC SERVICE 2005–2007
 
 
Employees
Total
women
number
%
March 2005
 
 
 
Employees in diplomatic service
533
283
53
Of which employees in diplomatic service abroad
221
90
41
Of which senior managers
41
4
10
March 2006
 
 
 
Employees in diplomatic service
570
293
51
Of which employees in diplomatic service abroad
236
89
38
Of which senior managers
44
4
9
March 2007
 
 
 
Employees in diplomatic service
598
315
53
Of which employees in diplomatic service abroad
244
94
38
Of which senior managers
43
7
16
 
Data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 
 
TABLE 6. UNIVERSITY GRADUATES by degree, 2005–2006
 
Year
Number of graduates with
Bachelor‘s degree
Master‘s degree
Professional qualification
Doctor‘s degree
women
men
women
men
women
men
women
men
2005
12,030
6,282
4,900
2,587
1,409
606
158
117
2006
13,642
6,967
4,788
2,498
1,424
525
161
115
Sex distribution, %
2005
65.7
34.3
65.4
34.6
69.9
30.1
57.5
42.5
2006
66.2
33.8
65.7
34.3
73.1
26.9
58.3
41.7
 
Data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
 
 
TABLE 7. AVERAGE GROSS MONTHLY WAGES AND SALARIES OF WOMEN COMPARED TO AVERAGE GROSS MONTHLY WAGES AND SALARIES OF MEN*
 
(%)
 
Year
Whole economy
Public sector
Private sector
2000
81.7
77
84.5
2005
82.4
77.9
82.2
2006
82.1
78.9
80.9
 
Data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
*Excl. sole proprietorships
 
 
 
 
 
TABLE 8. AVERAGE GROSS MONTHLY WAGES AND SALARIES OF WOMEN COMPARED TO AVERAGE GROSS MONTHLY WAGES AND SALARIES OF MEN IN THE WHOLE ECONOMY by type of economic activity, 2006*
 
(%)
 
 
Total
Of which
Women in blue-collar positions
Women in white collar positions
Total
82.1
70.2
72.7
Agriculture, hunting and forestry
86.2
89.6
74.5
Fishery
92.6
77.3
73.3
Mining and quarrying
90.5
62.6
58.9
Manufacturing
74
73.6
68.1
Electricity, gas and water supply
85.8
80.9
70.1
Construction
88.6
75.2
69
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal and household goods
79.6
84.5
69.5
Hotels and restaurants
81.8
85.7
82
Transport, storage and communication
95.2
93.3
65.2
Financial intermediation
58.2
54.5
58
Monetary intermediation
52.8
56.3
52.3
Insurance and pension funding, excl. compulsory social security
66.8
55
66.8
Real estate, renting and other business activities
90.1
75.1
90.8
Research and development
79.8
79.5
76.6
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
94.7
89.2
91.7
Administration of the State and the economic and social policy of the community
82.6
76.4
78.2
Legislative and executive activities of central administration institutions
85.9
76.2
82.8
Provision of services to the community as a whole
95.5
98
94.3
Compulsory social security activities
100.4
87.8
78.7
Education
95.5
90
84.9
General secondary education
119.4
94.3
104.2
University education
74.3
80
74.4
Health and social work
78.2
84
63.3
Human health care activities
77.3
80.7
61.7
Social work activities
95.8
98.5
81.8
Other community, social and personal service activities
86.8
69.3
82.1
Recreational, cultural and sporting activities
87.8
84.9
84.3
 
Data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
*Excl. sole proprietorships
 
 
 
TABLE 9. EMPLOYED POPULATION by sector, 2005
 
 
Women
Men
Sex distribution in %
thou
%
thou
%
women
men
Public sector
265.1
36.7
143
19
65
35
Private sector
457.9
63.3
608
81
43
57
 
Data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
 
 
TABLE 10. EMPLOYED POPULATION by sector, 2006
 
 
Women
Men
Sex distribution in %
thou
%
thou
%
women
men
Public sector
267.1
35.9
127.4
16.9
67.7
32.3
Private sector
476.1
64.1
628.4
83.1
43.1
56.9
 
Data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
 
 
 
TABLE 11. LABOUR FORCE, EMPLOYED, UNEMPLOYED
 
(in thou)
 
 
2000 
2005 
2006 
women
men
women
men
women
men
Labour force
826.5
845
788.8
818
785.7
802.6
Employed
711.3
686.5
723
750.9
743.2
755.8
Unemployed
115.2
158.5
65.8
67.1
42.6
46.7
 
Data provided by the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania.
 
 
TABLE 12. LABOUR FORCE ACTIVITY RATE, EMPLOYMENT RATE, UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
 
(in %)
 
Aged 15-64
2000 
2005 
2006 
women
men
women
men
women
men
Labour force activity rate
67.1
74.2
64.9
72
64.6
70.5
Employment rate
57.5
60.1
59.4
66
61
66.3
Unemployment rate*
13.9
18.8
8.3
8.2
5.4
5.8
 
Data of the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
*Calculated for people aged 15 and above
 
 
TABLE 13. DYNAMICS OF THERAPEUTIC ABORTIONS IN LITHUANIA
 
(in units)
 
Year
Therapeutic abortions
Per 100 live births
Per 1000 women of fertile age (15-49 years)
in absolute numbers
1997
60.1
25.3
22,680
1998
56.9
23.5
21,022
1999
52.2
21.2
18,846
2000
48.1
18.4
16,259
2001
44
15.5
13,677
2002
42.5
14.1
12,495
2003
38.7
12.9
11,513
2004
36.1
12
10,644
2005
34.2
11.2
9,972
2006*
32.8
10.8
9,536
 
Data of the Lithuanian Health Information Centre and the Department of Statistics under the Government of Lithuania
 
*Preliminary data