In terms of gender equity Slovakia places itself at the European average and most of its neighbours, although far behind the European countries heading the chart.

Slovakia’s unemployment rate reached 12.9% in January 2010 due to the negative impacts of both the global financial crisis and the Government’s ineffective policy responses. While the country has performed well in terms of some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), there are still some disparities and pending issues, including gender equality and development assistance. At the same time, the Slovak social and political climate is mired in corruption, bribery and cronyism, and the ruling coalition continues to govern through the “tyranny of the majority,” oppressing the political opposition, controlling the media and exciting xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination against minorities.
Slovakia successfully reformed its economy to enter the EU. Growth is slowing down, however, and the car industry – the country’s industrial pride and joy – is already reducing production. To tackle the crisis the Government has taken various measures, many designed to boost employment and regulate the market. For their part, NGOs must immediately address their lack of preparedness for the crisis. Discrimination against Roma and women persists, as does the authoritarian way in which the Government tries to ignore its political opponents. Overseas development assistance (ODA) has been legally institutionalized and is growing; nevertheless it still remains below EU standards.
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