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Cooperation of women in the region – the key to gender equality

Although women make up the majority in our society, the figures that speak of gender inequality are still not encouraging. Data from the Republic Institute of Statistics show that the wage gap is 8.8 percent in favor of men, and in many professions the wage gap is even greater to the detriment of women. In the public space, we are witnessing the rise of misogyny, sexism and the “objectification” of women, that is, the reduction of women to objects, and gender discrimination is also very present in the labor market, Brankica Janković, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, pointed out yesterday.

Speaking at the conference entitled “Share knowledge – towards gender equality in the region (BiH, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia)”, which was organized yesterday by the European Movement in Serbia, she emphasized that there are many problems with exercising the right to maternity and maternity leave. , despite the fact that a lot has been done in the legislative sphere.

“The gap between what is proclaimed and what is real is also visible when it comes to inheritance – although women are equal to men when it comes to inheritance, in many parts of our country customary law is still in force, so daughters and sisters give up property in favor of men.” family members. We are also very concerned about the ubiquitous violence against women, and one of the ways to achieve equality is the networking of women”, said Branković at the conference, the aim of which is to promote regional cooperation in mentoring programs to strengthen the position of women in the region.

As Dragana Đurica, general secretary of the European Movement in Serbia, pointed out at the opening of this conference, the share of women in the GDP is still small and amounts to only 24 percent in Serbia, even though they make up the majority of the population. In addition, only a third of business entities are owned by women – although this represents a shift compared to 2013, when only a fifth of companies were owned by women.

Jasminka Džumhur, ombudsman for human rights and head of the body for equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina, assessed that violence against women is a major regional problem, adding that the only thing that worries her most is the inadequate reaction of the institutions. She added that a large number of women in BiH and the region work in low-profit branches and service industries, stressing that women’s solidarity is necessary when it comes to banning work on Sundays, because it is a day when the whole family should be together. On the other hand, it is encouraging that a large number of women in the region united and held public protests after the horrific crime in Gradačac, in which three people were killed and which was broadcast live on social networks.

Plamena Halačova, deputy head of the EU delegation in Serbia, said that the region of the Western Balkans is known for strong women who have bravely faced the challenges of war, poverty and sanctions in the last three decades. However, she stated at the same time that they are not sufficiently protected from violence in private space. She stated that in the region of the Western Balkans, a third of women have experienced domestic violence.

As stated at the conference, the “Share your knowledge” program aims to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality and the need to improve the position of women. To date, 600 women have gone through this program, and within the program that fosters the principles of inclusiveness, solidarity and equality, 40 round tables on gender equality and female leadership were held. Joint activities carried out within the program and mentoring process serve to acquire and improve knowledge and skills in various professional fields that enable women to improve their position in the business system they are in or to start their own entrepreneurial initiative. Through the development of these knowledge and skills, the systemic challenges and gender inequality that women face in their work are continuously reviewed and they are given insights and examples of best practices to overcome these challenges and fight for gender equality.

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