Balancing work, private and family life is a very complicated topic. It influences men and women equally, it´s not only connected to taking care of small children, but also of other related dependent persons. Worth mentioning is e.g. the troublesome position of so-called sandwich generation, a group of mid-life people who have to take care of their dependent children and their own elderly parents at the same time.
Balancing work, private and family life is one of the main strategic areas of the Government Strategy for Equality of Women and Men in the Czech Republic for 2014 – 2018. In the area of balancing, the Czech Republic belongs, sadly, to the EU countries with the lowest opportunity of part-time jobs: the share of women employed part-time in 2015 was 9.3% compared to European average of 32.1%, in men it was 2.2% and 9.3% in the same period.
It still applies that women are the primary caretakers of pre-school aged children more often than men (in the CR, it applies in the long run that not nearly 2% of men-fathers take parental leave). An essential measure for making the situation of persons with small children easier is a sufficient capacity of institutions of childcare, which we have not been able to achieve for a long time – in the school year 2015/16, 41 thousand applications of accepting a child to pre-school education were rejected.
Society-wide conditions for effective balancing of work with family and privacy need to be created. Capacities of nurseries and pre-school institutions need to be maintained on the level of so-called Barcelona Objectives (for at least 90% of children at the age of three till the start of compulsory education and for at least 33% of children till the age of three), at the same time, capacities and quality of services providing care for seniors and other dependent persons need to be improved, too. Last but not least, opportunities of flexible but stable work forms, such as part-time jobs and working from home, need to be increased: Average shares of people working from home are 14.7% of men and 14.1% of women (in the whole Europe) vs.7.1% of men and 8.1% of women (in the CR).
The Methodology of Balancing created by the Department of Equality of Women and Men by the Government Office of the CR under cooperation with Gender Studies, o.p.s. is supposed to take all these trends into consideration, make the current law framework more transparent and formulate possible solutions.