GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA
Mandate Holder for the Composition of the Government Ana Brnabić
Nemanjina no. 11
Dear Ms. Brnabić,
For the third time, you have been entrusted with the mandate to form the Government of the Republic of Serbia by the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, for which I congratulate you. Numerous challenges lie ahead of the Government of which you are the mandate holder, among other things, the continuous improvement of respect for equality and human rights, including the right to gender equality.
Namely, bearing in mind the responsibilities of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, it is important that I emphasize that Serbia has taken significant steps in recent years to increase the participation of women in political and public life, understanding that the balanced participation of men and women in decision-making is one of the priorities for the overall development of the society, ensuring a fairer distribution of influence, using the capacities and potential of all its members and ensuring sustainable development. In the National Strategy for Gender Equality from 2021 to 2030, it is stated that the representation of women in executive bodies has increased, but also that a gender gap is evident in management positions and gender stereotypes are recognizable by the gender-imbalanced composition of departments responsible for areas that are traditionally not considered women’s jobs. One of the strategy’s objectives is to strengthen capacities by improving the institutional and normative framework of gender equality in political life and ensuring the equal participation of women and men, especially vulnerable groups, in decision-making.
With the adoption of the Law on Gender Equality, the legal framework related to this area was completed, and the Republic of Serbia opted for the highest standards of respect for the principle of gender equality based on the basic principles of numerous international acts. Thus, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to participate in the government of their country, and without the active participation of women and the inclusion of the female perspective in all levels of decision-making, the goals of equality, development, and peace cannot be achieved. The obligation to provide women with equal access and full participation in power and decision-making structures is regulated by the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action from 1995, which state that the empowerment and improvement of the social, economic and political status of women is of fundamental importance for achieving responsible and transparent government and that the low percentage of women in decision-making bodies at different levels maintains structural barriers.
Entrusting the appropriate number of portfolios to women is not just a mere fulfillment of a quota in political life or a competition for prestige but the most important prerequisite for the sustainable and balanced development of the entire society. Gender equality implies equal rights, responsibilities, and opportunities, equal participation and balanced representation of women and men in all areas of social life, equal opportunities for exercising rights and freedoms, using personal knowledge and abilities for personal development and the development of society, and achieving equal benefits from work results.
The achievements and capacities that a large number of women have shown through the results of their work, responsibly performing numerous tasks in various fields, recommend them for completing the duties of the highest representatives of the executive power in our country, which can be expected to benefit all social groups, bring about a fairer distribution of influence in society, and improve various social aspects, especially in areas burdened with gender stereotypes.
The previous Government, thanks to the initiative of the President of the Republic of Serbia during the formation of the Government, the recommendations of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, and the new normative framework, was in 10th place in Europe in terms of the representation of women and at the same time represented the highest level of participation of women compared to all previous Governments of the Republic of Serbia.
In this regard, I believe that you will use all your competencies when forming the future Government to achieve gender balance in terms of composition and entrusted portfolios.
 “Official Gazette of the RS”, number 103/21
 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY