Brankica Janković, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, took part at the conference „Women leaders combatting discrimination“, organized by Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Women Leadership Academy, Center of Modern Skills, USAID and Women Support Center.
Commissioner Janković emphasized that a progress of a country in area of participation of women in political life can be unmistakably estimated according to percentage of women participating in the work of national legislative bodies. Commissioner underlined that Serbia was the first Western Balkan country that had developed its Gender Equality Index taking 22nd place. Also, according to this index, Serbia holds 10th place in representation of women in the political life, while introducing quotas in parliamentary election contributed to greater participation of women in political life. In addition, Commissioner presented positive examples from Canada and Sweden, related to participation of women in executive authorities. Discussing the importance of representation of women at local authority level, Commissioner said that it was an indicator of how much a society is open and capable to react to changes in the community, but that women are ready themselves to be included in political developments. Commissioner accented that all these facts speak in favor of continuous and persistent work in all areas aimed to improve women’s position, because in such a way that the society as a whole would be improved and it’s grounds would be consolidated.
Speakers at the conference were also Laura Palmer Pavlović, Director of USAID Office for Democratic and Economic Growth in Serbia, Mirjana Pajvančić, Professor at Law Faculty, University of Novi Sad and member of the expert team of Women Leadership Academy, Sonja Liht, president of Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence and many others. Most important topic of this conference were the role of women leaders in prevention of discrimination and promoting of equality, as well as the challenges that women are facing in their battle for participation in political decision making. Beside Commissioner Janković, speakers at a panel discussion about their personal view on removal of obstacles and women leaders obligations were also Gordana Čomić, vice president of National Assembly of Serbia, Elvira Kovač, MP, Marija Lugarić from Social-democratic party of Croatia.