Daiga Mieriņa at the EU Speakers’ Conference: More women in high positions would bring more peace to the world


The more women we had in high positions, the more peace there would be in the world. It would also promote gender equality and address other issues related to this area that are on the agenda for us, the entire Europe and the world. This was said by the Speaker of the Saeima Daiga Mieriņa at the Conference of Speakers of Parliaments of the European Union (EU) held in Spain, addressing the participants of the round table discussion “Women’s Leadership”.

Speaker Mieriņa admitted that it is a pleasure to hear from the speakers of other countries that more and more women hold leadership positions and are also well represented in parliaments. “28 out of 100 members of the Latvian Parliament are women, and the two highest political positions in the country – the Speaker and Prime Minister – are also held by women. We are able to combine both educational aspirations and family life, each of us having three children. Women also hold three out of the five positions in the Saeima Presidium," said the Speaker of the Saeima, emphasising that not only in politics, but also in other areas women undertake increasingly ambitious commitments.

Perceptions of the role of women in society and family have changed significantly over time. If 90 years ago in Latvia, the Civil Law stated that “a husband shall have the right to decide on allowing his wife to engage in paid work”, then at the moment the situation has changed significantly. At the same time, Speaker Mieriņa admitted that work should be done to equalise the pay gap between the men and women, because in Latvia women still earn 17 per cent less than men. Women are also more at risk of poverty, especially those who raise their children alone.

Latvia has also done a lot in the fight against violence: “We recently adopted the Istanbul Convention and introduced very harsh and strict measures, zero tolerance for violence against women both in our Criminal Law and in other laws,” emphasised the Speaker of the Saeima.

Speaker Mieriņa underlined that we can be proud of the achievements in the field of gender equality, but we still have a lot to do to ensure equal opportunities for both genders. “Europe is not an island, we do not live in an isolated world. We live in a world where gender equality is far from perfection. We could also help the rest of the world to change following our example. As they say, if you want someone to change, you must start with changing yourself.”

The Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments is an annual forum for speakers to exchange views, information and experience. It is attended by the Speakers of the national parliaments of the EU Member States, the President of the European Parliament and the speakers of the parliaments of the EU candidate countries. This time, the Conference of Speakers of the EU Parliaments takes place from 21 to 23 April in Palma, Spain.

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Saeima Press Service

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