Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Hungarian President Katalin Novák and Shabana Basij-Rasikh, President of the women’s School of Leadership in Afghanistan
Real freedom of choice is essential for women so that they can choose a career and a family together. Women are needed in the labor market and in the family, and Hungary is working towards this, said President Katalin Novák in Rwanda at the opening panel discussion of the Women Deliver 2023 conference on improving the global status of women.
Katalin Novák was joined on the panel by Senegalese President Macky Sall, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde, UN Population Fund Executive Director Natalia Kanem and Shabana Basij-Rasikh, Co-Founder and President of the women’s School of Leadership in Afghanistan. In line with the conference’s motto, the panelists focused on successful solutions for women in different countries and regions and the problem-solving power of women’s solidarity.
During the panel discussion, Katalin Novák confirmed that full equality for women has not yet been achieved by a country electing a woman president, but it is a very good start. She explained that in Hungary, more women than men graduate from university every year and more women than men work.
In response to a question, she stressed that
the main challenge women face is when they have to decide between motherhood or a career. In Hungary, thanks to state support, women can choose both, because they are needed in the labor market and in the family as well.
The President emphasized that her main goal is to ensure that every Hungarian woman can have as many children as she wants, in order to balance family and career. On the positive side, she said that in Hungary, fertility had increased by 25 percent in 10 years and the number of marriages had doubled.
She pointed out that Hungarian women who have four or more children do not have to pay personal income tax for the rest of their lives. She also mentioned that in Hungary, grandparents can also benefit from the three-year state child-raising allowance in addition to the father.
In response to a question, Katalin Novák underlined that
Hungary needs more women MPs, as less than 15% of the current parliamentarians are women.
She also said that, although it was not her decision, she regretted that there would be no female ministers in the Hungarian government from 1 August with Justice Minister Judit Varga resigning from her position.
The conference was the lost stop during Katalin Novák’s official visit to Rwanda. On Tuesday, she traveled on to Tanzania, where no Hungarian President has been on a state visit so far. Katalin Novák pointed out on her Facebook page that Tanzania also has a female president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, and negotiations will soon start between the two sides.
Via MTI, Featured photo via MTI/Balogh Zoltán