The Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Dr Muamer Bacevac and Deputy Chairperson Natasa Tasic-Knezevic took part in the parliamentary meeting organised within the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York.
The parliamentary meeting was held on 7 March 2023, with the topic "The role of parliaments in advancing gender equality through technology", organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). They also took part in the accompanying event held on 8 March 2023 with the topic "Achieving equality in decision-making by 2030".
At the parliamentary meeting, opened by the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Duarte Pacheco, Muamer Bacevac said that though Serbia has done a lot in recent years in the field of digitalisation, it must also take into account the gender aspect of the matter. The gender equality index in the Republic of Serbia indicates that women are less represented among ICT experts and when they are employed in this sector, they earn less than men because they work in lower paid jobs. Ensuring greater participation of women in information technologies and reducing the digital divide is the best way to empower women, because today there is no activity, be it in the sphere of work, private or family life, that does not involve the use of these technologies. The Law on Gender Equality includes the obligation to undertake special measures to improve digital literacy and other digital competences among women. He highlighted the important role the National Assembly plays in promoting these goals and supervising the implementation of the law. He concluded that the promotion of gender equality leads to the development of society as a whole and contributes to a better quality of life and well-being for everyone - both women and men. That is why he particularly emphasised the need for greater understanding and involvement of men in tackling these issues.
At the following day’s debate on women's participation in decision-making, Natasa Tasic-Knezevic pointed out that increasing women’s participation in political decision-making is at the very top of the National Assembly’s priorities. Laws have been passed that ensure this, first and foremost the Law on Gender Equality, Law on the Election MPs and the Law on Local Elections. The improvement of the legislative framework had positive effects and in the current National Assembly legislature, of the total of 250 MPs, 88 are women (35.2%). She also mentioned that since 2013, an informal group has operated in the National Assembly - the Women's Parliamentary Network, which consists of women MPs of different party affiliations. High participation of women is ensured at the level of Government and other important institutions and the Government has established a Coordination Body for Gender Equality. She also spoke of gender equality in the field of digitalisation, highlighting the important activities of Prime Minister Ana Brnabic who has made development of digitalisation a priority area on her agenda.
The participants of the parliamentary meeting and debate exchanged experiences and gave suggestions on how parliaments should contribute to the greater presence of women in technologies and the reduction of the digital divide, concluding that there is room for further improvement in this area and the need to undertake joint activities within the Inter-Parliamentary Union.