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… Iz Kruga — Vojvodina participated in the meeting Un Women: Implementing Norms, Changing Minds — Phase 2

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The Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Orga­ni­za­tionIZ KRUGAVOJVODINA, Svjet­lana Tim­o­t­ic, par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Pro­gramme Steer­ing Com­mit­tee Meet­ing of the UN WOMEN region­al pro­gramme: Elim­i­na­tion of vio­lence against women in the West­ern Balka­ns and Turkey: Appli­ca­tion of norms, change of con­scious­ness — 2 phas­es. The meet­ing was held on Feb­ru­ary 26, 2021, from 9 to 11:15 a.m. via the Zoom appli­ca­tion.

The meet­ing brought togeth­er all pro­gram part­ners who pre­sent­ed the key mile­stones, chal­lenges and results achieved dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year.

The meet­ing was opened by Genoa’s Ruiz Calav­era, Direc­tor for the West­ern Balka­ns on behalf of the Direc­torate Gen­er­al for Euro­pean Neigh­bor­hood Pol­i­cy and Enlarge­ment Nego­ti­a­tions, fol­lowed by Alia El-Yas­sir, UN WOMEN Region­al Direc­tor for Europe and Cen­tral Asia, and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives, civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions and pro­gram part­ners across the West­ern Balka­ns and Turkey.

Svjet­lana Tim­o­t­ic spoke on the top­ic of Chal­lenges and progress in pre­vent­ing and address­ing vio­lence against women in the con­text of COVID 19 pan­dem­ic, with a focus on project activ­i­ties that the Orga­ni­za­tion IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA is imple­ment­ing.

- Three key chal­lenges in the con­text of the covid pan­dem­ic have guid­ed our work to improve ser­vices to pro­tect women with dis­abil­i­ties from vio­lence: Pro­longed con­fine­ment in homes and insti­tu­tions and oth­er restric­tions on move­ment have reduced the abil­i­ty of women with dis­abil­i­ties exposed to vio­lence to live inde­pen­dent­ly. Iso­la­tion has indi­rect­ly weak­ened them men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly, inten­si­fy­ing the fear for their own safe­ty, because with­out the usu­al sup­port avail­able, they are even less able to avoid vio­lence and gain ade­quate sup­port. Lack of infor­ma­tion in acces­si­ble for­mats with con­stant changes in the work regime of com­pe­tent bod­ies and insti­tu­tions deal­ing with sit­u­a­tions of domes­tic vio­lence, lim­it­ing the oth­er­wise lim­it­ed set of com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels through which they pro­vide ser­vices (often only by a busy phone) makes ser­vices and insti­tu­tions even less acces­si­ble to women with dis­abil­i­ties exposed to vio­lence. Lim­it­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who can gath­er in one place, while min­i­miz­ing the depar­ture of asso­ciates to oth­er areas and respect­ing pro­tec­tion mea­sures, requires spe­cial orga­ni­za­tion and strength­en­ing the capac­i­ty of activists with dis­abil­i­ties for online func­tion­ing. We over­came the chal­lenges by max­i­mal­ly inten­si­fy­ing ser­vices aimed at empow­er­ing women with dis­abil­i­ties in all ten munic­i­pal­i­ties in which we imple­ment activ­i­ties in this project peri­od, as well as the pro­duc­tion of infor­ma­tion mate­r­i­al in easy to under­stand lan­guage and in var­i­ous for­mats (print­ed brochures, audio — video record­ings). We orga­nize activ­i­ties on rais­ing the capac­i­ty of ser­vice providers in small online groups with inten­sive coop­er­a­tion with local orga­ni­za­tions of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties and activists with dis­abil­i­ties from tar­get munic­i­pal­i­ties whose capac­i­ties for online activism we have improved — said Svjet­lana Tim­o­t­ic.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of insti­tu­tions and orga­ni­za­tions from the region also took part in the dis­cus­sion: Gor­dana Gavrilovic, Advi­sor to the Deputy Prime Min­is­ter, on behalf of the Coor­di­na­tion Body for Gen­der Equal­i­ty from Ser­bia, Sam­ra Fil­ipovic Hadzi­ab­dic, Direc­tor of the Agency for Gen­der Equal­i­ty from Bosnia and Herze­gov­ina, Afer­di­ta Prroni on behalf of the Cen­ter for Human Rights. democ­ra­cy from Alba­nia.

Par­tic­i­pants expect that the first meet­ing of the Pro­gram Steer­ing Com­mit­tee will con­tin­ue to fos­ter coop­er­a­tion in pre­vent­ing and end­ing vio­lence against women at the region­al and nation­al lev­els.