Pink Phenomenon

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A government-backed report warned that education is becoming “too feminine” in Hungary, cautioning that this phenomenon could endanger the economy, lower birth rates and disadvantage men, the BBC reported.

The report, made by the State Audit Office and published last month, said that women were over-represented in Hungarian higher education, while men were dropping out in larger numbers.

Over the past decade, more women than men had enrolled in universities – with the number this autumn reaching more than 54 percent. The report added that 82 percent of Hungarian teachers are women.

The study also found that “feminine” traits such as emotional and social maturity were more favored in Hungary’s education system, while “masculine traits” – such as technical skills and entrepreneurship – were undervalued.

The authors wrote that an increase in female graduates could result in lower marriage and birth rates, noting that this “pink education” phenomenon could impact the economy and everyday life for young people – such as not being able to handle “a frozen computer, a dripping tap, or furniture that has arrived flat-packed and there is no one to put it together.”

The findings come as the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban is attempting to boost the country’s falling birth rates. In 2019, he announced that women with four children would be exempt from paying income tax for life.

Even so, the report faced intense criticism from opposition politicians and women’s rights groups, which described the report as “another blow to gender equality and women’s rights in Hungary.”

Hungary has faced criticism over gender issues, with a Council of Europe commissioner lamenting that the country was backsliding in gender equality and women’s rights.

The country recently elected its first female president, Katalin Novak, but continues to have the lowest share of female politicians in the EU.

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