A fresh survey by the NGO Forum 50%, which strives for equal rights for both genders, suggests that towns and villages in the Czech Republic spend significantly more on men’s needs and interests than women’s. According to the survey, seven out of eight municipalities favored men in their budget distribution. In one case, only 18 percent of a town’s funds went to activities and resources for women. The author of the analysis, Marcela Adamusová, explains the main findings of the study.
Around 150 far-right extremists marched through Svitavy on Saturday in support of skinhead Vlastimil Pechanec, who received a 17-year jail term for the killing of a Romany man in the town. The protestors chanted slogans including ‘show trials’ and ‘Pechanec isn’t a murderer’. Meanwhile, around 30 anti-racism campaigners gathered at the bar where he stabbed Ota Absolon twice in 2001. Absolon, who was 30, died in hospital a few hours later.
The city council in east Bohemian town of Svitavy has approved demonstrations of both right-wing extremists and their opponents on a single afternoon in late July. The municipal police are preparing extensive safety measures and the routes of the two groups are to be kept apart. Roughly 120 right-wing extremists marched on Svitavy last year; they were met by an anti-racism demonstration of some 70 people.
Ever since the fall of communism governments have struggled to deal with the segregation of Romany children, a vast number of whom end up in special schools which severely limits them in their future development. Now the incoming administration is looking at the problem in terms of money and it seems that, paradoxically, cost cutting measures may succeed where good intentions have failed.
Tortuous negotiations on who will fill key posts in the new centre-right cabinet appear to have ended in agreement, with the final pieces of the jigsaw falling into place for new prime minister Petr Nečas. His Civic Democrats seem to have made considerable concessions, with the powerful ministries of finance, foreign affairs and the interior all going to smaller coalition allies. But surprisingly – and for the first time in eight years – there’s not a single woman amongst them.
A Prague City councillor, Jiří Janeček of the Civic Democrats, has come forward with a controversial plan which – if implemented – would push long-term homeless people from the city centre. His aim, Czech TV reported on Tuesday, is for the city to build a camp somewhere on the periphery that would provide shelter as well as soup twice a day for those, he said, who “respected nothing” or presented a “hygiene or security risk”. Not surprisingly, the proposal has quickly drawn criticism from charities and NGOs.
New evidence emerged on Monday at the trial of four neo-Nazis accused of racially-motivated murder after throwing petrol bombs through the windows of the home of a Roma family last year. A two-year-old girl was horrifically burned in the attack, which has received unprecedented attention here in the Czech Republic.
The police uncovered over 4,400 illegal migrants on Czech territory in 2009, for the most part Ukranians, Vietnamese and Russians, according to an Interior Ministry report that the cabinet is due to receive on Monday. On the other hand the number of foreigners legally residing in the Czech Republic dropped for the first time since the year 2,000 by over 5,000 people. This is being ascribed to the economic crisis and fewer job opportunities. Seventy-five people were granted political asylum.
An estimated six hundred people took part in Saturday’s Queer Parade in the Moravian city of Brno. The march for gay rights was accompanied by a massive police operation to protect participants from attacks by over a hundred and fifty ultra-right radicals who were determined to disrupt the event. Six hundred officers, including mounted police and helicopters –were out in force for the parade creating a barrier between the two groups. Six extremists were detained. Many shops in the city centre were closed for the day and traffic was re-routed. Young Christian Democrats held their own march through the city a few hours earlier in support of traditional family values. The organizers of Queer Parade said they wanted to call attention to the fact that gays and lesbians still face discrimination in the Czech Republic. Although they can enter into registered partnerships, such couples cannot adopt children and their rights are not on par with those of heterosexual married couples. The first gay and lesbian march in Brno took place in 2008.
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