Full gender equality among govt. priorities

Accomplishing full gender equality is one of the priorities of the Serbian government and the work on that will involve all ministries, Zorana Mihajlović says.

Izvor: Tanjug

Tuesday, 14.10.2014.


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Full gender equality among govt. priorities

Mihajlović points out that 43 women have died to family violence this year, that women have equal rights on paper, but that they do not have equal chances when it comes to employment and that 8 out of 10 illiterate people are women.

The government is determined to change this in coordination with local governments and the civil sector, she stated, adding that measurement of an index of gender equality would start soon.

"We have to create an environment where women will be able to exercise the same rights as men," she underscored.

The situation in that aspect is changing gradually, so 30 members of the national parliament are now women, but that is still not enough when considering that the parliament has 250 seats, she noted.

The is preparing changes to regulations, which will require that 40 percent of members of the management boards of large companies be women, she said.

Serbia does not have to adopt such regulations right away, because it is not a member of the EU, but it can put more women on management boards, she remarked.

Gender equality is an imperative for a society to progress and Serbia has to establish it, not just because of its EU integration, but also because it is a requirement for the sustainability of the country's development, Mihajlović stated.

Gender equality is one of the key principles of the EU, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport said, adding that it is a requirement for economic growth and social cohesion in every modern society.

The situation in the EU is not great when it comes to gender equality, since women are on average paid 16 percent less than men for the same job, he pointed out.

Only 4 percent of heads of large companies are women and only 16 percent of management board members are women, he said.

Of course, the situation in Serbia is not ideal either and women have to fight each day to get equal rights, he concluded.

Manager of the Operations Sector of the European Institute for Gender Equality Theresa Murphy supported Serbia's intention to introduce the gender equality index.

Serbia would in that case be the first country outside of the EU to use the index, she remarked.

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