Fourth Conference of Women’s Parliamentary Network

The Commissioner for Protection of Equality – Brankica Jankovic stated today that there can’t be no actual gender equality in any area of society without equal representation of women in The National Assembly and that Women’s Parliamentary Network sends a clear message that all political, ideological and other differences can be overcome when it comes to the fight to achieve this goal.

Public policies pursued by different political parties have to include gender perspective as a component, as pointed out by Mrs. Jankovic on the FourthNational Conference of WPN, held in the National Assembly.

The Commissioner also stressed that participation of women is still not on a satisfactory level, although significant results are achieved in this matter with respect to the previous period of time.

Mrs. Jankovic reminded that introducing quotas into the election system produced some results but nevertheless the gender structure of the Parliament should reflect the realistic gender structure of the society, having in mind that women make for more than a half of the population of Serbia.

According to Mrs. Jankovic, WPN gave a special contribution when it comes to empowering women on the local level, where introducing quotas also demonstrated its efficiency as stated in the findings of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities

“There were less than 7% women in the Local assemblies after the elections in the year 2000, while today there is more than a third. On the other hand, there are still too few women on the managing positions of the municipalities, too few women mayors and presidents of municipalities although women make for a majority among of the operational and executive positions on the local level. They still bare the heaviest burden when it comes to doing the work but they slowly fade out when they are supposed to get to the highest level of managing and decision making” stated Mrs. Jankovic.

The Commissioner pointed out to the problem of custom and social patterns of behavior which put women in an unequal position comparing to men, emphasizing that the main reason for the lack of women on the decision making positions, where all the power and might are concentrated, are the stereotypes about the gender role of women.

Within that context Mrs. Jankovic underlined that women from minority groups are almost completely invisible in political and public life and stressed that there is work to be done on the change of the malicious but deeply rooted belief that managing positions should be in hands of men and that women are less capable of making decisions and get by in crisis situations.

“This is where the contribution of the WPN is huge. These are great but not unachievable goals which, in order to be fulfilled, require networking among women despite the differences between our political and ideological convictions” concluded The Commissioner.

In her statement to the press Mrs. Jankovic said, among other things, that the discrimination can be found mostly in the area of employment and labor and stated that it needs to change.

“This is an issue which requires effort in the years to come. That picture needs to reflect the real situation because this is the only path to a truly equal society that provides equal opportunity to all”, said Mrs. Jankovic.

The Parliament chairwoman Maja Gojkovic announced that a new Law on Domestic violence, as well as the modification of the Criminal Code, which will introduce new criminal acts concerning domestic violence will be considered on the next session.

She added that Serbia holds the fifth place in Europe when it comes to number of women involved in poitics.

WPN Coordinator – Marija Obradovic told the press that women representatives in the parliament will propose series of amendments to the state budget proposal, which will soon be considered, noting that the means will not be planned like before.

“We will make an effort to secure more money for women Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, Science and Culture”, underlined Mrs. Obradovic.

Ian Luneburg – The Chief of the Democratization department within OSCE Mission in Serbia also addressed The Conference, stating that WPN ensured equal chances for political participation, is working on preventing violence against women and supporting the existing mechanisms for gender equality as well as that OSCE stays dedicated to helping Serbia to put the topic of gender equality to the top of the political agenda.

The Conference assembled around 500 women from 116 municipalities in Serbia, among which a delegation from the province of Kosovo and Metohija.

WPN was formed on 14th of February 2013 by the decision of all of the women representatives, who gathered around the higher goals without prejudice to party affiliation. Today Serbian Parliament consists of 85 women representatives from 250 representatives in total and there are nine women presidents of the Parliamentary Committees.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
back to top