Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic had a meeting in Subotica with representatives of local self-governments from Vojvodina – Novi Sad, Kikinda, Vrbas, Vrsac, Apatin, Coka, Zrenjanin, Alibunar and Novi Knezevac, with whom she discussed the promotion of gender equality and the need for better understanding and respect for the right to equality and non-discrimination.
When it comes to the city of Subotica, progress has been made in terms of women’s participation in the city government, but the percentage is still below average, which is why there is room for improving equality. The representatives of local authorities talked about this issue with Commissioner Jankovic and expressed the need for the cooperation in overcoming the gender imbalance.
Commissioner said that without the balanced participation of women and men, there is no progress in any society. She pointed out that the improvement of the legal framework creates good preconditions for improvement in the field of gender equality. She also reminded of the recently adopted Law on Gender Equality, and especially welcomed the amendments to the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children, whose amendments were long awaited, and finally adopted.
Namely, in 2018 and 2019, the Commissioner submitted several initiatives, as well as proposals for assessing the constitutionality and legality of certain provisions of this law, pointing to the problem of calculating salary compensation during maternity leave, unequal treatment of agricultural insured persons, and the provisions of the law that worsened the the position of women who earned higher earnings before pregnancy and childbirth. All these provisions have been changed. Commissioner also supported civil society organizations, pointing out the disadvantaged position of children with disabilities or health difficulties and their parents in terms of conditioning the exercise of the right to salary compensation during leave for special child care and the right to allowance for assistance and care of another person has also been modified.
Commissioner said that these changes are extremely important for the efforts to increase the birth rate, especially in a situation when we practically lose one city every year.