“Women also have a place in politics. They approach problems differently, often with more empathy”, The Ministry of Human Capacities’ State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novák at the TEDxDunapart conference in Budapest on Thursday.

At a discussion held during the event, which was entitled “Challenges Faced by Family and Social Relationships in the 21st Century”, Ms. Novák explained that when women first began becoming involved in politics, for instance in the Greek city states, the main topics on the agenda concerned defence, state affairs and the economy, and there was hardly any talk of social issues or healthcare; these were topics that were almost exclusively discussed within the family, and accordingly fell within the scope of authority of women.

“This has changed, however, and politics is having an effect on most areas of life, and it is not good if women are not involved in this, particularly in view of the fact that women approach problems differently, and are often more empathetic”, the State Secretary highlighted. However, she pointed out that women should be careful to avoid starting to adapt, begin behaving in a masculine manner and giving up her femininity after entering politics.

In reply to a question concerning whether having a female leader has an adverse effect on male self-confidence, Professor of Harvard Medical School, psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, who is the current leader of Harvard’s 76-year-old adult happiness research, said the real question is how people respond to change. “According to our research, people who are flexible and who can adapt to change are happier and perform better, because change is eternal and continuous”, the Professor stated.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences began in the United States in 1990. At the event, which is held every year, lectures may take a maximum of 18 minutes, and concern ideas that the organisers believe the world should become more familiar with. Similar, independently organised TED events have been held in several other countries for years under the name TEDx.