The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality implements the project “Improving the Position of Women and Girls in Rural Areas” within the program “Improved Safety of Women in Serbia”, which is realized by the United Nations Agency for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN Women), with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade. The project activities are carried out in three districts of the Republic of Serbia: Zlatibor, Moravica, and Raška districts.
The goal of the project is to improve the safety of women and girls living in rural areas by strengthening their capacities and the capacities of local organizations that work to improve the position of women and girls living in rural areas, as well as raising awareness of the mechanisms of prevention and deterrence of violence against women and girls. One of the project’s goals is to contribute to overcoming challenges and obstacles in implementing legislation caused by limited institutional capacity at the regional and local level through targeted support and individually tailored interventions for women and girls living in rural areas and NGOs. In addition, the project is focused on increasing the knowledge and capacity of women and girls living in rural areas about measures and actors responsible for protection from violence and gender-based discrimination, improving their understanding of how to recognize discrimination and seek legal assistance from the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and how to actively use protection mechanisms against violence against women and girls (VAWG). Within the project, among other things, organized study visits and training for women’s non-governmental organizations and women from rural areas are planned, as well as mentor support and resources for starting a business and cooperation between all relevant actors who can contribute to improving the position of women in rural areas (national and local institutions, civil society organizations, local communities, media).
As part of the project, two publications were produced that can be found on the website of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality: “Position of women and girls in the rural areas of Zlatibor, Moravički and Raški Districts” link: https://ravnopravnost.gov.rs/polozaj-zena-i-devojcica-u-ruralnim-oblastima-zlatiborskog-moravickog-i-raskog-okruga/ and “Authentic stories from life in the village” link in Serbian: https://ravnopravnost.gov.rs/autenticne-price-iz-zivota-zena-na-selu/ and a link in English: https://ravnopravnost.gov.rs/en/reports-and-publications/publications/.
The implementation of the project was planned from March 1, 2021, to November 30, 2022. Immediately before the end of the project, bearing in mind the results of the project that are above the planned and expected, as well as the importance that the project has for the target group for which it is intended, the continuation of the project was agreed, with the support of the Kingdom of Norway, and the Annex to the contract was signed, which extended the implementation of the project until October 30, 2023.