27 December 2021 The Women's Parliamentary Network visits Krusevac as part of its tour of Serbia districts

27 December 2021 The Women's Parliamentary Network visits Krusevac as part of its tour of Serbia districts

Monday, 27 December 2021

WPN Workshop in Krusevac

WPN held a workshop on the Law on Gender Equality and Local Self-Governments - Opportunities and Challenges, on 27 December 2021 in Krusevac City Assembly.

Before launching the proceedings, the participants observed a minute of silence in honor of the late National Assembly Deputy Secretary General Branko Marinkovic.

The chairing coordinator of the Women's Parliamentary Network MP Sandra Bozic then addressed the attending, saying that Krusevac and Rasina District itself were the logical next step in the story pursued by the Women's Parliamentary Network. The WPN’s plan is to visit all the districts in Serbia and make a detailed analysis of issues unaddressed for a long time, based on the questionnaires and impressions taken from each of the districts.

"We will have something tangible against which to measure all future parameters. I hope we have moved away from mere formalities and that, if we stick to the letter of the law, we will go a long way. The doors of city municipalities and all institutions are wide open to all members of society, and by exchanging experiences, messages, needs, we will have the opportunity to create a society with opportunities equal for all”, stressed Bozic.

She reminded the attending that thanks to the persistent efforts of the Women's Parliamentary Network and the President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, 40% of the MPs now are women, hoping that future amendments to the Law on MPs would lead to real equality - 50%. She pointed out that women sitting in parliament have noticed that their visits to local self-governments and confronting what is the reality of every woman, women in the countryside, women who are discriminated against in many ways, would have a significant impact on starting to change things for the better, because the doors of the parliament though always open, for some are still far away.

Mayor of Krusevac Jasmina Palurovic expressed satisfaction that the city got the opportunity to host a gathering dedicated to such important issues. As a woman at the head of the city, she noticed that more and more women have been addressing their requests and complaints to the institutions, and the fact that the local self-government was prepared to hear out its citizens was confirmed by the opening of constituency offices where they can discuss any topic with the MPs. She stressed that Krusevac was one of the first cities to open such an office.

Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Jan Braathu said that selecting Krusevac to host the gathering was very important, because of the six local self-governments in the Rasina District, five are led by women. According to Braathu, the participation of women in politics promotes gender equality and directly affects the types of political issues discussed and the quality of the proposed solutions.

"We believe that inclusion improves the quality of decision-making. The proportion of women in politics in Serbia has been growing in previous years and after the introduction of new quotas in 2020, a record number of women MPs in the National Assembly has put Serbia at the top in Europe in terms of women’s representation in parliament."

In the ensuing panels Prof. Dr Mariana Pajvancic of the Faculty of Law, University of Novi Sad, and MP Dragana Barisic spoke of the role of local self-governments in the implementation of the Law on Gender Equality, Danica Todorov of the Women’s Support Centre and WPN coordinator Snezana Paunovic spoke about local mechanisms for gender equality and gender responsible budgeting, while Slavica Rakic of Association “Romani Cikna”, Krusevac, spoke on the topic of women in the local community and gender equality in practice.

This workshop continues the series of visits to local self-governments, result of the cooperation of the Women's Parliamentary Network with the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, UNDP and OSCE, to address the challenges to and mechanisms needed for the implementation of the Law on Gender Equality at the national and local levels.

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