WPN Conference Chair and coordinator of the Women's Parliamentary Network, MP Sandra Bozic addressed the press, saying she had the great honour and pleasure to greet and welcome everybody to the conference entitled "Courage is Female".
She thanked all the attending for recognising the importance of this gathering and the continuous work and efforts of the Women's Parliamentary Network on improving gender equality in Serbia and the position of women, especially during the epidemic crisis and the new challenges it brought into the field.
"I would like to express special gratitude to the Prime Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly and members of the government, as well as our partners in the OSCE Mission to Serbia and UNDP representatives for their unreserved support. Since its founding in 2013 to date, though an informal organization, WPN has achieved significant results and become a recognized factor in the field of gender equality and improving of the position of women in Serbia, both nationally and regionally. We have come a long way, with our continuous work and commitment we managed to, in addition to being the first country outside the EU to introduce the Gender Equality Index, adopt and ratify various laws, strategies and agreements that include economic and political empowerment of women and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, be the ones who committed themselves to a resolute fight against any form of violence against women. At the same time, we fought to make women more visible in politics and exercise their right to be elected to the highest state decision-making positions”, Bozic pointed out.
The conference was divided into two panels with topics reflecting the moment’s burning issues, drawing attention to the recognized problems and offering possible solutions. Panel 1 entitled "Non-culture of violence as a phenomenon increasingly present in the form of hate speech in public discourse and the media and how it affects society, as well as gender sensitive issues and issues of equality." The panel was led, among other participants, by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and Information, Ms. Maja Gojkovic.
Panel 2 with the topic "Gender equality in times of pandemic" focused on how the pandemic affects the state of gender equality, the changes brought by the pandemic into the discourse, and whether we recognize them as a society. Who is more likely to become sick, who is more and in what jobs engaged on the problem and whether the burden of the pandemic has managed to activate gender-sensitive problems and policies. ." The panel was led, among other participants, by Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue Gordana Comic.
National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic and Prime Minister Ana Brnabic addressed the attending in the opening part of the conference, and Bozic took the opportunity to thank them on behalf of the WPN.
"The basic message we want to send from today's conference is that in addition to the inviolable daily struggle for the lives of our citizens and their health, the economy during the pandemic which has been praised around the world, as a responsible and mature society we must notice and recognize all the other manifestations of the negative effects that the virus leaves behind and uncompromisingly continue with the active and constant fight against violence against women and the overall improvement of their position in society, as a basic priority of the WPN’s work.
Prof. Dr Zorana Mihajlovic, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, also participated in the Conference, and IPU Secretary General Mr. Martin Chungong honoured the attending with a video message, as well as Mr. Jan Braathu, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia and Ms. Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative, WPN’s standing partners", Bozic concluded.