The coordinator of the SOS service of the Organization …IZ KRUGA — VOJVODINA, Ivana Zelic, participated in the first multisectoral social dialogue, organized on the occasion of the condition analysis of gender equality in the Republic of Serbia. The dialogue was organized by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, together with the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, on January 18, 2021, starting at 10 am in the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade.
The Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue has launched an initiative to form a working group to pass a new draft Law on gender equality, which would start the regular procedure for passing a new law. Social dialogue is a way of getting to documents, laws and strategies, because they are the key to achieving the vision, and it’s a society of equal opportunities for women and men.
- Women with disabilities are doubly discriminated, as women and as persons with disabilities. They still face many difficulties in education, the labor market, in exercising their right to health care. The biggest problem is that they are still ‘invisible victims of violence’, although the data show that women with disabilities are 2 to 5 times more at risk of domestic violence. It is very important to consistently and in accordance with the law continue the fight against violence against women, provide them with appropriate protection and support and work on improving the position of women with disabilities — says Ivana Zelic.
From the non-governmental sector, in addition to Ivana Zelic, Tanja Ignjatovic from the Autonomous Women’s Center and Masa Pavlovic from the Initiative for the Rights of Persons with Mental Disabilities MDRI-S spoke at the meeting.
Tanja Ignjatovic emphasized the necessity of reorganizing public debates on the occasion of drafting changes and additions draft laws and strategies, including action plans that were not completed in the period from 2017 to 2020. She especially pointed out that domestic violence is defined in all domestic and international documents as a social problem, and not as the responsibility of an individual for which an appropriate penalty is provided.
Masa Pavlovic presented the problems faced by women with mental disabilities who live in social protection institutions.
- The socio — political crisis caused by the corona virus pandemic has left great consequences on the position of persons with disabilities, especially those who are accommodated in social protection institutions. In addition to the risk of infection, the problem of banning visits is evident. Visits are the only way for users of residential institutions to communicate with their relatives, so a ban on visiting for them means a ban on communication with the outside world - says Masa Pavlovic.
Social dialogue contributes to achieving the goals of sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda. This type of forum is a precondition for progress in the field of social justice, economic and political equality, as well as a safe and prosperous lifestyle that should be accessible to all women.
- In the previous period, Serbia has done a lot in the field of gender equality. We have introduced certain institutes and developed cooperation of line institutions with international partners and the civil sector, which has given results in improving the position of women. Today, no one can turn their head in front of discrimination against women, but we still have work to do, first of all the adoption of the Law on Gender Equality, which we prepared in 2016, but unfortunately we still don’t have it due to the disagreement of one ministry — said President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, prof. Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic.
Serbia, in cooperation with the Ministry of European Integration, UN WOMEN and the EU Delegation, is introducing gender mainstreaming, as an important tool for introducing gender equality in all public policies.
In addition to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Serbia and the President of the Coordination Body for Gender Equality, Prof. Dr. Zorana Mihajlovic, Ministers of the Government of Serbia participated in the social dialogue: Maja Gojkovic, Jadranka Joksimovic, Tatjana Matic, Irena Vujovic, Marija Obradovic and Maja Popovic, as well as the Rector of the University of Belgrade Ivanka Popovic, President of UN Agencies, Council of Europe, Protector of Citizens , Commissioner for Gender Equality, Academy and Civil Society.
The Ministry will continue to work on the education of judicial office holders and encourage inter-ministerial cooperation, undertake a series of activities aimed at uniform treatment in order to provide adequate protection and support to women as the dominant victims of violence.
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