Žmonių minia,kurioje iškeltos dvi trans vėliavos
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13th February 2024
Public Survey: Attitudes Towards Transgender Individuals Push Lithuania to the Bottom of the EU List

According to a Eurobarometer survey across the European Union, Lithuania ranks among the countries with the least favorable attitudes towards transgender people. While nations like the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark lead with less discriminatory sentiments, Lithuania finds itself at the lower end alongside countries like Romania and Bulgaria.

A concerning 46 percent of respondents in Lithuania believe that discrimination based on gender identity is prevalent in the country. Although awareness of this form of discrimination has increased slightly, with 36 percent acknowledging it in 2019, negative perceptions persist.

Notably, 31 percent of respondents admit they would feel dissatisfied if a transgender person was their daily communication co-worker. However, there is a positive shift as this figure has decreased by 11 percent since 2019.

Ieva Laugalytė, a senior adviser at the Office of the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, says that changes in attitudes towards transgender people are taking place extremely slowly, and the fact that the gender identity of colleagues is being discussed the professional environment is what leads to the complex experience of transgender people in the labor market:

“Negative attitudes not only greatly complicate the job search, but also mean that even if you succeed in getting a job, you may have to work in an unsafe work environment. We are currently conducting a study of the situation of transgender people in Lithuania, which only confirms that many transgender people face significant difficulties at work – some must hide their identity at work in order to avoid negative consequences, some constantly receive negative comments or mocking jokes from colleagues, others even face violent situations. The saddest thing is that not only employees have negative attitudes, but also employers, who should be the ones preventing any unwanted behavior at work and ensuring safe working conditions”, – says I. Laugalytė.

The survey also reveals a disheartening statistic, with only 28 percent agreeing that transgender individuals in Lithuania should have the same rights as everyone else. “This is one of the saddest indicators in the entire survey. This places Lithuania only a few percentage points ahead of countries like Romania and Bulgaria at the bottom of the ranking. The answers show that in Lithuania human rights are still considered a privilege for a specific segment of society”, – says I. Laugalytė.

The qualitative study is a part of the project Centering the Voices of Transgender People, carried out together with the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud in Norway

The project is funded by EEA and Norway Grants.