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The achievement of gender equality is one of the basic principles of human rights. It includes equal opportunities for both men and women to exercise their human rights in all aspects of social and private life.

Gender equality should be a way of life in all areas of social development. Public authorities, employers, political parties, trade unions and bodies in charge of gender equality are obliged to report on the achievement of gender equality.

This was the main message of the campaign “Improving gender equality”, which was carried out from December 2023 until March 2024 by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue in partnership with the German-Serbian Development Cooperation Project “Support to Social Inclusion in Serbia“. This project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ GmbH.

Pursuant to the Law on Gender Equality, all public authorities, companies with more than 50 employees, political parties, trade unions and bodies in charge of gender equality have the obligation to submit the Annual Report on the Achievement of Gender Equality to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, the competent authority in charge of monitoring the achievement of gender equality in society.

According to the data available to the line Ministry, there are around 500,000 entities obliged to submit the above-mentioned report. Only 5,870 of them submitted the report last year, whereby the deadline for submitting the report is the 15th of January of the current year for the previous year.

Within the framework of this campaign, information sessions were organised in Užice, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Niš and Belgrade. These information sessions aimed at informing parties obliged to report about the importance of submitting reports about the achievement of gender equality. The sessions were attended by representatives of public institutions, various organisations, civil society, employers, and the media. Participants of these information sessions were called upon to respect gender equality in their own institutions, organisations, companies and to report about the achievement of gender equality in regular intervals. It was concluded that regular reporting is the best way to ensure continuous progress towards the achievement of gender equality.

The reporting is simply a prerequisite to create a high-quality and comprehensive gender analysis at the level of the entire Republic of Serbia. Based on indicators from such gender analysis, a cumulative report can be prepared and used to amend public policy documents so as to improve the situation in this field in the entire society.    

The general report on the achievement of gender equality, produced by the line ministry, was prepared in line with the structure and content stipulated by the Law on Gender Equality. It includes the most important information related to achieving policies of equal opportunities, implementation of general and special measures at public authorities and employers, in particular in areas that are of special importance for gender equality. They include the achievement of gender equality in political parties, trade unions and associations, but also the work of elected bodies in charge of gender equality and the appointment of persons in charge of gender equality.

At these information sessions, it was assessed that all parties obliged to report must be continuously educated about the obligations they have under the Law, including how they are supposed to report, to whom they should report, as well as how to draft the report. Any doubts related to the drafting of the report can be resolved in direct communication with the staff of the line Ministry.

It was assessed that the reporting and work necessary to prepare the annual report can be made easier with the application of a software for automated data processing, which is supported by the GIZ. By providing support to the Ministry in this campaign, the GIZ is at the same time implementing the German Feminist Development Policy. The support provided to the development of the software for reporting on the achievement of gender equality and its implementation at the national and local level will directly contribute to improving gender equality in Serbia in the future.

 

Another 131 years to close the gender gap

The achievement of gender equality is one of the basic principles of human rights and represents the principle of equal opportunities for both men and women to exercise their human rights in all spheres of social and private life. According to the global report of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which takes into account data from 146 countries worldwide, Serbia ranked 23rd due to the good participation of women in political life. However, there is still a need to achieve greater progress regarding the inclusion of women in the economic development, because according to this subindex, Serbia ranked only 77th. In the latest report of the World Economic Forum, it has been assessed that it will take another 131 years to close the gender gap.

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