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Female opposition lawmakers called for wage equality, the introduction of free gynaecological screenings and educational programmes targeting disadvantaged girls and women in Budapest on Friday, marking International Women’s Day.

Ágnes Vadai of the leftist Democratic Coalition told a joint press conference that women today are disadvantaged in many fields of life “simply because they were born women”. She called for a “national programme for women” to list and monitor women’s problems and to integrate solutions into legislation. Socialist lawmaker Ágnes Kunhalmi called for an education programme targeting the “several hundreds of thousand” women who she said are “almost totally marginalised” for lack of adequate schooling. Deputy party group leader Ildikó Borbély Bangó said that one-parent families, overwhelmingly managed by women, should be granted specific state subsidies. Párbeszéd group leader Tímea Szabó noted that 9,000 Hungarian women a year are found to suffer from breast cancer and “an astoundingly high number”, 2,000 every year, die of the disease. She called for accessible and free screening programmes to fight the trend. Conservative Jobbik’s Andrea Varga-Damm said that a “true equality” of women is necessary, and Anita Potocska Kőrösi, another MP of the party, called for government support for scientific research on the subject.

Independent lawmaker Anett Bősz, of the Liberal Party, said that the Hungarian economy will lose revenue if it “fails to restore gender equality”. She said that the Liberals are initiating a comprehensive scheme to help women balance family life and carrier. This is not a women’s issue but the country’s social and economic interest, she said. Independent lawmaker Bernadett Szél noted that currently, one woman dies every week in Hungary as a consequence of domestic violence, and called for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.