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The Effects of Communist Policies, the Democratic Transition, and EU Accession on Gender Equality in Germany and the Czech Republic Open Access

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Despite the social and economic improvements European Union accession has brought to its member states, gender equality remains a low priority. While the overall impact of the EU in Europe has been positive, women's position may have been better under other regimes. By examining the status of women in the Czech Republic and Germany during communism, the democratic transition, and after EU accession, gender equality during each time period is compared. Several variables, including access to childcare, tertiary education, employment and political representation, are used to determine how effective communism, democracy, and the EU have been at improving the status of women. This study finds that no regime provided German or Czech women with comprehensive gender equality, but currently women do have more control over their economic and social status. The prospects for achieving gender equality in the future are good provided that the EU and its members recommit themselves to attainable goals such as wage equality and the increased political representation of women.

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