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PostSubject: Dictatorship: It’s a Man’s Game   Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:28 pm



Lukashenko’s Belarus is a perfect example of the machismo and misogny at the heart of authoritarian regimes, says Maryna Koktysh
During his 19 years in power, Belarus’s President Alexander Lukashenko has never appeared in public with his wife — or any other “first lady”. There is only one female minister in the Belarusian government. The rating of 100 most influential Belarusians, published by Nasha Niva newspaper, included only eight women.

This grim reading is made worse when one looks at the facts. According to official statistics, women in Belarus have higher levels of education (49 per cent of Belarusian females graduated from universities — in comparison to 42 per cent of men) and are better at foreign languages (59 per cent of Belarusians who speak English are women, whilst 63 per cent of German-speaking Belarusians are female). At the same time, men are much better represented at top managerial positions.

According to Iryna Sidorskaya, Head of the journalism institute’s department of communication technologies at Institute at the Belarusian State University, men don’t like losing to women; men are afraid of looking weak against strong and intelligent women.

“Men are unlikely to hear out women. There is a strong stereotype in our society about women being talkative and just capable of blabbing; and talking is not ‘real work’, but just a waste of time. One can notice during any working meeting in a company or an organisation that men often don’t listen to women talking; even if the latter make the right point, the former perceive their interventions as ‘too much talking’,” says Sidorskaya.

Such attitudes are present in many fields of activity; thus it works as a “natural” acceptance of a restriction of women’s freedom of expression on many levels.

“Women are just not regarded as equal to men, even if they have the same job positions; they are regarded to be inferior to male colleagues. One can see the same trend in business as well as in politics,” Sidorskaya admits.

more here: http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2013/03/belarus-a-country-without-a-first-lady/

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