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Briefing notes

Novák: The world’s women heads of state and government can lead by example

Women should not have to choose between motherhood and a career in Hungary.

Referring also to the war in Ukraine, President of Hungary Katalin Novák, speaking at the UN Forum for Women Heads of State and Government in New York, called for women to be given the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives, not having to choose between motherhood and a career, and said women leaders could be an example of this.

The head of state gave the example of Hungarian family policies that give women opportunities. 

First of all, she mentioned cooperation between men and women, including the possibility of sharing the burden by allowing fathers and even grandparents to stay at home alongside mothers and to benefit from childcare allowances. 

A second example was the possibility of financial support, with mothers of four or more children receiving a full social security exemption. She noted that the Hungarian government would like to extend this to mothers with three children. 

Thirdly, she said that women leaders could be role models in reconciling family and career.

The Forum of Women Heads of State and Government was convened by the former and current President of the UN General Assembly Csaba Kőrösi of Hungary. 

The meeting was chaired by Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and attended by women leaders from dozens of countries around the world. Among the speakers were the prime ministers of Iceland, Bangladesh, Uganda and Hungary, as well as the president of Hungary. 

The main themes were the achievement of full gender equality in society, how to achieve it and the potential benefits of women’s full participation in society.

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