Posted by on 27 Apr 2011. Filed under Features, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Equal rights only on paper

Is Equality Possible Reality.

What exactly is equality? It’s a noun that means a state of being equal. Many people speak of equality, but oftentimes don’t practice it.

Thanks to a new pan-European directive, car insurers can no longer give lady drivers preferential policies, even though statistics claim that they are generally safer drivers. Employers must pay women the same as their male counterparts, officially at least.

There are, however, areas of industry and life that are sex dominated. Why is this? Is it a cultural thing? Women have proven that they can perform most roles just a well and sometimes better than their male counterparts.

Equality is a double-edged sword, with many men also seeking equality just like their female counterparts in many gender-dominated areas. Yet the discrimination continues, and even when legislation is in place to deal with such situations, the judiciary often turns a blind eye to it.

Last summer legislation came into place in Slovakia in regard to equal custody for fathers so they can have a bigger influence on the upbringing of their children. This legislation has been ignored by the judiciary, which still discriminates due either to ignorance, bias or simple complacency. This is not only unfair to the fathers, but also to the children.

There are hundreds of pros and cons to this legislation, but these have been addressed by the people who put the legislation in place. Yet the courts still refuse to apply the equal custody rule in practice, something that the Liga Otcov (League of Fathers) in Slovakia is strongly fighting against.

Is this democracy at work or a throwback to socialism? What right does a court have to disregard legislation, or to even consider it.

One source, who wishes to remain anonymous as he is currently in a legal battle to gain access to his child. Let’s call him William – a non-Slovak national who has spent in excess of EUR 2000, made three petitions to the courts, has never physically seen a judge, but has been told by his lawyers that the courts are simply ignoring this new piece of legislation.

William is not alone in his plight, as the activities and growing membership base of the League of Fathers shows. They are putting constant pressure on the government to enforce the new legislation and recently put on an exposition in parliament, as the same kind of legislation is in place with great success in many other countries.

Likewise, fathers who wish to remain at home should they have the same benefits as their female counterparts, but don’t. Should state benefits be split pro-rata between parents? These are just some of the issues to be addressed. Should all rights be equal or is it like in the novel Animal Farm by George  Orwell where some animals are more equal than others?

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