On the occasion of 8 March, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic, UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Karla Hershey, Ambassador of Australia Julia Feeney, Ambassador of Brazil Isabel Cristina de Azevedo Heyvaert, and USA Deputy Chief of Mission Kurt Donnelly visited Lucani. The goal of the visit was to mark the International Women’s Day through direct meetings and to support women in rural areas whose potential have not being used enough yet.
Commissioner and Ambassadors, together with the president of Lucani Municipality Vesna Stambolic, met with outstanding women entrepreneurs, women at managerial positions in local self-government and members of local organizations dealing with the empowerment of women.
Commissioner Jankovic emphasized that it is very important for women to become empowered, to take the initiative and overcome obstacles that stand on their way, by using all available rights and mechanisms. “We should not wait for someone to give us the equality, but we should get involved ourselves”, said Commissioner and stated that Lucani is a good example, demonstrating how much the situation has changed, compared to the period of 20 or 30 years ago. She added that conditions for quality and equal life do not and should not exist only in Belgrade, and also that women here did not wait, they became directors, private business owners and are at managerial positions in the municipality.
At the meetings, it was discussed about the position of women in the society and at the labor market, possibilities for the improvement of female entrepreneurship and challenges that they are facing in these areas. Women from Lucani shared their experiences with Commissioner and Ambassadors and suggested exact ideas for the improvement of women’s position in this region. They think that it is not necessary to give up the tradition, but to exploit it in a right manner, for example to use traditional female skills and talents to start a private business. They also spoke about the importance of education of boys and girls in the spirit of gender equality and respecting of women’s rights, while the representative of the Center for the Social Work stated that although the effects of the Law on the Prohibition of Domestic Violence implementation are not ideal, there are noticeable improvements.
In the second part of the visit, Commissioner, Ambassadors and Deputy Chief went to women’s monastery Sretenje and other remarkable venues of the Lucani Municipality.