Equality of Chances Starts at Home…
Equality of chances has long been regulated in Europe. In our country, too, legislation formally ensures equality between men and women. Practically, discrimination is nevertheless quite spread, especially in the rural areas, where, according to the Rural Barometer 2006…
69% of the respondents consider that a mother who is employed can look after her children just like one who is not,
71% believe the best way a woman can become economically independent is a working place,
63% answered university studies are less important for girls,
62% opinate men conduct business better than women do,
97% have electricity in their households,
only 9% have gas,
16% have sewage,
50% have a draw well in their yard,
18% get their water from a public fountain,
16% have running water in the house,
85% have their toilet in the garden,
2% have no toilet…
Statistically, the village world continues to show a multitude of shortages faced by men and women in the country. In spite of the preconceived ideas shared by rural community inhabitants and of the open attitude they show sometimes, there is a real need of information at this level. The mayors and mayoresses, local counsellors, priest wives, all from rural areas, that participated in the workshops on equality of chances within the campaign intended for women from the urban areas in 2005 – “Europe Is Important for You!” asked for similar meetings in the villages and towns they were from. They asked us to present, together with the partners at the central and local levels, the significance of equality of chances, as many concrete examples of discrimination as possible, the consequences of family violence, the implications of human trafficking, the social and community services, models of implication and solidarization, the implication of women in decision-making positions and, last but not least, the reality of women in EU.
An idea was thus born, to continue, at a rural level, the information campaign on equality of chances that took place in 2005. This decision represents the biggest challenge for us all, because it requires a new approach, and a very well thought planning process. It is going to be a daring project for our society, but, hopefully, it will give results in the long run.
What Will We Do in 2006?
This year, the integration counsellors  will be the architects of their own information campaigns on equality of chances. They will be guided in selecting partners, promoters, best ways of action and will be in permanent collaboration with the project team of the Direction for Mass Media and Communication within MEI. In fact, the project team will enlarge, being completed with integration counselors from 16 counties: Alba, Arges, Botosani, Brasov, Bihor, Constanta, Galati, Harghita, Hunedoara, Gorj, Mehedinti, Mures, Prahova, Vrancea, Vaslui, Satu Mare. This year, the integration counsellors  will be the architects of their own information campaigns on equality of chances. They will be guided in selecting partners, promoters, best ways of action and will be in permanent collaboration with the project team of the Direction for Mass Media and Communication within MEI. In fact, the project team will enlarge, being completed with integration counselors from 16 counties: Alba, Arges, Botosani, Brasov, Bihor, Constanta, Galati, Harghita, Hunedoara, Gorj, Mehedinti, Mures, Prahova, Vrancea, Vaslui, Satu Mare.
At the end of May, in a preliminary meeting with all the members involved in this project, we will identify the most appropriate forms of promoting equality of chances, according to the specific of each county and the social problems faced by women and men from the towns and villages of these counties.
The warm season will coincide with the period of implementing the plans of action established in Bucharest. A decentralization of the information is wanted, so that all the directions and actions established at a central level be finalized and implemented at home by integration counselors from the 16 counties to be trained for this purpose. Local campaigns will be supported over this period by a media campaign at national level. To this purpose, a spot to promote the campaign will be shown – “Experience is important… in the villages!”
A second meeting, at an extended level, will take place in autumn, when the first results of the campaign to promote equality of chances in the rural environment will be evaluated. All these data, statistics, evaluation indicators, questionairs results will be presented in this section, under the form of a Final Report.
If you have found this interesting, if you think Romania’s development needs as many partnerships as possible – public-private, central-local and, last but not least, women-men - , if you have such examples at hand and you want to give it to the world, we are expecting your ideas, proposals, observations and commentaries on the FORUM OF EQUALITY OF CHANCES BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN – the first forum of this kind in Romania.
Integration counsellor, coordinator of the project “Europe is important for you!”
Phone: 021.301.15.14/ 021.301.15.20
 Integration counsellors are employees of the Ministry of European Integration, working within the directions/departments of European integration existent at the level of the institutions of the Prefect.