In Lithuania, equal rights and opportunities for women and men are enshrined in the Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (1998). The Law forbids any discrimination – direct and indirect – on the grounds of sex, harassment on the grounds of sex, sexual harassment and an instruction to directly or indirectly discriminate against persons on the grounds of sex. The Law sets out preconditions for gender mainstreaming. All State and municipal institutions and agencies must ensure that equal rights for women and men are ensured in all the legal acts drafted and enacted by them; must draw up and implement programmes and measures aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for women and men and, in the manner prescribed by laws, must support the programmes of public establishments, associations and charitable foundations which assist in implementing equal opportunities for women and men.
In 2015, the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour approved the fourth National Programme on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men 2015–2021 and its Action Plan. The strategic goal of the Programme is the consistent, complex and systematic promotion of the equality between women and men and the elimination of discrimination between women and men in all areas. The objectives of the programme are to promote equal opportunities for women and men in the field of employment and occupation; balance involvement of women and men in decision-making and holding the top posts; improve effectiveness of institutional mechanisms for the advancement of gender equality.
All these objectives are relevant in the field of culture. However, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture does not have any specific measures (quota schemas or mainstreaming programmes) for ensuring equal opportunities for women and men in the field of culture.
According to the data of Eurostat, Lithuanian cultural sector employs more women than men, but women earn 10–12 per cent less than men.
Table 6: Number of women and men (in persons) and their average earnings (monthly, EUR) in art, entertainment and leisure organisations of public sector in 2014–2018
|Number of women and men working in art, entertainment and leisure organisations of public sector||Females||16 000||16 100||17 200||17 400||15 700|
|Males||9 600||8 900||7 800||7 500||8 700|
|Average earnings of women and men working in art, entertainment and leisure organisations of public sector||Females||507.6||554.67||609.92||654.42||699.65|
Women and men are quite evenly represented in top positions of national and state cultural organisations. In 2018, women headed 27 of 55 national and state cultural institutions (museums, theatres, libraries, etc.). However, women are underrepresented in the pursuit of National Award for Culture and Arts. Lithuanian artists receive the National Culture and Arts Awards for their long-term creative contribution to the Lithuanian culture and art. Despite the fact of the greater percentage of women working in arts and culture sector, they are nominated for the awards far less often than men. Since 1990, women accounted for only 21% of all creators who received the National Awards. In 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2012 and 2013, the national awards in the field of culture were granted to men only. In 2019, unions and associations of artists and other cultural organisations nominated 42 candidates for the National Prize – 15 women and 27 men. For the first time since 1990, more women than men were granted with the Awards – 4 women and 2 men.
According to the survey Population participation in culture and satisfaction with cultural services (2014) commissioned by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, women and men are unevenly active in the cultural and artistic activities. Significantly fewer men than women attend cultural activities: 41% men and 27% women have no intention to attend cultural events and initiatives. One of the reasons for such non-participation is a lack of male interest in culture. 36% of male respondents stated that they have interests other than in culture, 54% named personal reasons (shortage of time, health problems), while others named insufficient supply of cultural services and products and other obstacles. Men are less frequent visitors of museums, galleries or exhibitions than women, and they are less active in stage arts and crafts. Women tend to participate in volunteering more often than men (22% women and 6% men on average), as well as in cultural initiatives, non-governmental organisations and culture-related studies. Besides, women are more interested in books and press than men (71% women and 53% men read books for pleasure) and women have more books at home than men (47% women and 39% men have over 50 books at home).