What challenges do women face in Czech politics? How do these obstacles affect their work and political careers, and what impact do they have on the Czech political landscape and society as a whole? Members of the Network of Women in Foreign, European and Security Policy had the opportunity to discuss these topics during two meetings in the spring of 2023 with special guests - Danuše Nerudová and Markéta Pekarova Adamová.
Danuše Nerudová‘s presidential candidacy has sparked a debate about the perception of women in high-level political positions. Thanks to her, the topics of feminism and women’s representation in politics were present in the pre-election discussions. On April 18, she met with members of the Women’s Network to share her experiences from the campaign and her insights on the underrepresentation of women in Czech politics and foreign policy. She also addressed the opportunities to support more women in this field, the challenges and obstacles women may encounter, and the key skills and qualities for success in this domain.
Subsequently, on Friday, 16 June, the members of the Network had the opportunity to meet with one of the most visible women in Czech politics – Markéta Pekarova Adamová, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic. In addition to addressing the situation of Czech female politicians and the obstacles they face, they also discussed her foreign policy activities. The debate touched on various topics, including her recent visit to Taiwan and the cooperation of the highest constitutional officials in the foreign policy of the Czech Republic.
Both meetings, along with three others in autumn 2023, were made possible thanks to the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Czech Republic. Ambassador Daan Huisinga welcomed the members and guests directly at his residence, where he presented the Netherlands’ priorities in the field of feminist foreign policy and the advancement of gender equality.
Thanks to the cooperation with the Dutch Embassy, the members of the Network have the opportunity to meet not only with prominent figures from the Czech scene, but also with experts from the Netherlands. For instance, in early April, the MasterClass of Professor Mendeltje van Keulen “Shaping national EU policy: the parliamentary dimension” took place. Professor van Keulen explained the role of national parliaments in shaping the European policies of individual countries, how the Dutch parliament has assumed more control over decision-making in EU affairs, why it was important in the Dutch context, and which lessons and the lessons that can be applied to the Czech environment.