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Forum in Prague on International Women's Day

Prague, Czech Republic - Historically March 8 has been celebrated around the world as International Women's Day since 1911. In 1975 the UN adopted this holiday. During the communist era, this was a communist holiday.

On March 9, UPF-Czech Republic convened in Prague a conference on the Identity and Role of Women in the Family and Society to commemorate this significant day. In a conference which brought the issues of family and especially women into the center of interest, four women speakers dealt with this topic from different points of view.

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The conference was opened with an introduction by Dr. Juraj Lajda, Secretary General of UPF-Czech Republic, who emphasized that discussions about women should start from the family, which is the base for life and activities. Discussions about women cannot be taken out of the context of a harmonious relationship with men, including their husband, and children. The role of women should not be viewed in opposition or competition to men. He pointed out that the identity of a woman should be derived from universal laws and not from the culture.

The first speaker, Mrs. Jana Jochova, vice president of the Committee for the Defense of the Parents' Rights, spoke about Parenting, Education, and Responsibility, focusing especially on sex education at school. She emphasized the idea that it is the parents who should take responsibility for the sex education of their children primarily because the school does not emphasize the moral and spiritual values of the relationships between men and women. She advocated for value-oriented education at schools and stated that men and women are equal but not the same.

The next speaker was Erika Lajdova, representing the UPF. She introduced the Basic Principles of a Family. She explained in her speech the family structure as the natural model for human existence. Men need women and women need men. Together they can create a family and bring children into the world. Such is the model of a healthy family. There are unfortunately deviations of this model which make our life difficult and bring suffering to people and problems to society. She emphasized that the sexual organs are sacred and should not be used in irresponsible ways, as in free sex. Finally she expressed hope that the problems of the society and world can be solved by establishing good families.

The second part of the conference was introduced by Mrs. Rut Kolinska, president of Kindergarten Centers and Women of Europe 2003. She spoke about Women Who Changed the World. "The hand which moves the cradle can move the world," is her motto. Women working together with men can bring results. She challenged people not to fail as parents.

Finally, Mrs. Klaara Adamova from the Buddhist centre spoke about women bringing harmony to the family. What makes a women happy and satisfied? she asked. An old proverb says that if the woman in the family is satisfied, then the whole family is happy. Thus, it is women who can bring peace into the family.

The conference was attended by 15 participants.

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